Water Quality at America's Beaches

    There is something in the sea breeze that gives you a relaxing inner sensation. All the more swimming up to  the best of your breaths, exploring the depths of the sea. People even, by choice, spend a long weekend at the beach. Savoring the fine sands under your toes, the beaming sunlight on your skin and the calming crashing of the waves.

    The beaches in the United States showcase the natural blissful scenery. That of worth-spending your getaway with. Yet, it is necessary to keep in mind the sanitation of the water you are to plunge into. Does not mean beautiful, it is free of impurities.

    In the summer season, warmer water causes the best environment for bacteria to grow and multiply. This is the moment that pollution, contamination and unsafe swimming conditions get more serious. Millions of people every year are affected by waterborne illnesses. It is the result of fecal contamination in beach waters.

    A non-profit group called Environment America Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group partnered to compile and share data on the quality of America’s beach waters. Their report  of “Safe for Swimming?” reveals the results of samples taken from more than 3,000 beaches in the U.S. This is during a 2019 testing period. Out of those beaches tested, 386 of them showed to be unsafe at least 25% of the days their water was sampled.    

    The report is the same to the annual investigations recently made by the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC's 2014 report found that 1 of every 10 U.S. beaches tested were hazardous for swimming.          

    These beaches are considered unsafe if the levels of bacteria exceeded the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most protective “Beach Action Value” threshold. This is the level at which the agency estimates 32 out of 1,000 swimmers most likely get sick from swimming in these waters.

    Let’s take a look at the safe are the beaches of the Americas for swimming. Also, discover some of the solutions made addressed by certain states.

    Alabama:15 of 25 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

    Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
    • Fairhope Public Beach in Baldwin County-> 12 out of 56 days tested (21.4%)
    • May Day Park in Daphne-> 7 out of 31 days tested (22.6%)
    • Dog River, Alba Club in the southern part of the city of Mobile-> 7 out of 33 days tested (21.25)
      The Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring Program consistently tests the major recreational beaches, observing water quality and giving warnings or closures if needed.

      California: 202 of 253 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

      Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

      • Inner Cabrillo Beach in Los Angeles County->150 out of 258 days tested (58.1%)
      • Marina Del Rey Beach/Mothers Beach-> 111 out of 299 days tested (37.1%)
      • Topanga State Beach in southern end of Malibu-> 101 out of 257 days tested (39.3%)

        Los Angeles County's Inner Cabrillo Beach is among the most exceedingly awful beaches  in the country for contamination that has been found to have significant levels of sewage overflow and has been referred to for its issues for over 10 years.

        Connecticut: 44 of 70 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

        Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
        • Shady Beach in Norwalk County-> 10 out of 22 days tested (45.5%)
        • Byram Beach in Fairfield County->8 out of 19 days tested (42.1%)
        • Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk County-> 8 out of 21 days tested (38.1%)

          The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has built up a program to track and lessen different sources of beach contamination, which involve domestic animal and wildlife waste, soil erosion, boating activity, and faulty septic tanks.

          Delaware: 14 of 23 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

          Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
          • Slaughter Beach in Sussex County-> 12 out of 19 days tested (63.2%)
          • Broadkill Beach in Sussex County-> 5 out of 18 days tested (27.8%)
          • Dewey Beach-Swedes-> 4 out of 17 days tested (23.5%)

            Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control tests the state's beach waters routinely during swimming season. A public advisory released by scientists from the organization after an enormous number of shorebirds attacked Slaughter Beach, defecating into the waters and along the shorelines.  Which caused increased levels of bacteria.

            Florida: 187 of 261 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

              Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
              • South Beach (SoBe) in Key West County-> 22 out of 43 days tested (51.2%)
              • Robert J. Strickland Beach in Hudson County-> 19 out of 26 days tested (73.1%)
              • Crandon Park—South in Key Biscayne-> 19 out of 67 days tested (28.4%)
                Problems over poor water quality have driven some Florida cities to use the Clean Water State Revolving fund. Which gives minimal effort financing to water infrastructure.

                Georgia: 19 of 26 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                  Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                  • St. Simons Island Lighthouse Beach-> 9 out of 47 days tested (19.1%)
                  • 5th St. Crossover (St. Simons Island)-> 8 out of 46 days tested (17.4%)
                  • Tybee Island Strand->  6 out of 45 days tested (13.3%)
                    All year-long, the state tests the bacteria levels at Georgia’s beaches. Instead of simply during the warmer months, giving warnings to the public when bacteria reach at unsafe levels. A few beaches have been set under permanent warnings due to having persistently high levels of pollution.

                    Hawaii: 76 of 221 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                    Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                    • Kuliouou Beach in Honolulu County-> 10 out of 11 days tested (90.9%)
                    • Hanalei Beach Co. Park in Kauai County-> 9 out of 59 days tested (15.3%)
                    • Niu Beach in Honolulu COunty-> 8 out of 10 days tested (80%)
                      The State of Hawaii's Clean Water Branch has made efforts to lessen water pollution, breaking down water quality all the time. Also attempting to build community-based education on watershed management. Just as giving financing to projects identifying with pollution control.

                      Illinois: 19 of 19 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                        Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                        • 63rd Street Beach in Chicago-> 19 out of 101 days tested (18.8%)
                        • Calumet South Beach in Chicago.> 18 out of 102 days tested (17.6%)
                        • South Shore Beach in Cook County-> 17 out of 101 days tested (16.8%)

                        Existing issues with sewage overflow discharge into the lake, just as other environmental issues, have prompted the introduction of enactment to prevent the dumping of sewage into the Great Lakes.

                        Indiana: 19 of 23 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                        Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                        • Jeorse Park Beach I in East Chicago-> 28 out of 94 days tested (29.8%)
                        • Jeorse Park Beach II in East Chicago-> 20 out of 94 days tested (21.3%)
                        • Whihala Beach West in Whiting->: 17 out of 93 days tested (18.3%)

                        The Indiana Department of Environmental Management started beach monitoring in 2002. The state's Lake Michigan Beach Monitoring and Notification Program works with local beach administrators to test Indiana beaches  consistently and inform the general public of pollution.

                        Louisiana: 23 of 23 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                        Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days: 

                        • Lake Charles North Beach->20 out of 30 days tested (66.7%)
                        • Fontainebleau State Park->19 out of 29 days tested (65.5%)
                        • Rutherford Beach->13 out of 30 days tested (43.3%)

                        The Louisiana Department of Health keeps up a progressing Beach Monitoring Program, testing water at different beaches so as to determine whether water quality meets the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines. The tests are conducted from April to October when warmer water temperatures can indicate an increase in bacteria.

                        Maine: 31 of 63 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                          Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                          • Goose Rocks Beach-> 12 out of 27 days tested (44.4%)
                          • Riverside (Ogunquit)-> 7 out of 18 days tested (38.9%)
                          • Little Beach-> 4 out of 15 days tested (26.7%)

                          The Maine Department of Environmental Protection expresses that Maine beaches are overall safe. 2018 testing led as a major aspect of the Maine Healthy Beaches demonstrated about 98% of beach days as being without bacteria.

                          Maryland: 41 of 67 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                          Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                          • Ocean City Beach 3->8 out of 28 days tested (28.6%)
                          • Ocean City Beach 6-> 6 out of 28 days tested (21.4%)
                          • Ocean City Beach 4->5 out of 28 days tested (17.9%)

                          As a major aspect of the BEACH Act, passed by Congress in 2000, Maryland set up the Maryland Beaches Program. That activity tracks bacteria and contaminants and issues safety warnings and closures as required.

                          Massachusetts: 257of 559 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                          Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                          • Tenean Beach->44 out of 90 days tested (48.9%)
                          • Kings Beach-> 43 out of 88 days tested (48.9%)
                          • Malibu Beach->20 out of 87 days tested (23%)
                              Suffolk County's Beach Monitoring Program tests beach  waters from May to September so as to monitor safety levels. City stormwater overflow is one of the main reasons of pollution in Massachusetts beaches.

                              Michigan: 78 of 196 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.   

                              Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                              • South Linwood Beach Township Park->13 out of 41 days tested (31.7%)
                              • Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach-> 10 out of 53 days tested (18.9%)
                              • Pier Park-> 8 out of 18 days tested (44.4%)
                                The EPA has made cleanup and restoration of the Great Lakes area a need. Projects, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Great Lakes Legacy Act are intended for tending to contaminants like polluted sediment and environmental toxins.

                                Minnesota: 13 of 35 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                                • Park Point Sky Harbor Parking Lot Beach-> 9 out of 31 days tested (29%)
                                • Agate Bay Beach-> 5 out of 18 days tested (27.8%)
                                • Burlington Bay Beach-> 3 out of 15 days tested (20%)

                                Minnesota is located along the shoreline of Lake Superior, the biggest of the Great Lakes. As of June 2020, Sky Harbor Parking Lot Beach had just given at least one "No Water Contact" warning that season because of high E. Coli levels in the water.

                                Mississippi: 21 of 21 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                                Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                • Pass Christian West Beach->44 out of 62 days tested (71%)
                                • Waveland Beach-> 43 out of 62 days tested (69.4%)
                                • Bay St. Louis Beach-> 38 out of 51 days tested (74.5%)
                                  In 2019, the state needed to close the entirety of its mainland beaches, because of an outbreak of cyanobacterium, or blue-green algae, which regularly develops in contaminated waters and can be harmful to humans and animals.

                                  New Hampshire: 6 of 16 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                  Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                  • North Hampton State Beach->7 out of 34 days tested (20.6%)
                                  • New Castle Town Beach->3 out of 25 days tested (12%)
                                  • Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road->2 out of 25 days tested (8%)
                                    The state's Department of Environmental Services Beach Program records North Hampton State beaches as having a sum of 24 contamination warnings somewhere in the range of 2006 and 2020.

                                    New Jersey: 73 of 222 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                                    Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                    • Beachwood Beach West->9 out of 18 days tested (50%)
                                    • Barnegat Light Bay Beach-> 9 out of 21 days tested (42.9%)
                                    • Windward Beach-> 8 out of 21 days tested (38.1%)
                                      Jersey Water Works, a group to help improve the area's water system, are upholding enhancements to supply pipelines, sewers and storm drains over the state.

                                      New York: 219 of 350 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                                        Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                                        • Tanner Park-> 56 out of 79 days tested (70.9%)
                                        • Woodlawn Beach State Park-> 43 out of 103 days tested (41.7%)
                                        • Sayville Marina Park-> 34 out of 56 days tested (60.7%)
                                            A weekly basis test for possible contamination is conducted in all New York State Park beaches.

                                             Closures and warnings are given depending on test results and expectations of poor water quality like after heavy rain.

                                            North Carolina: 93 of 209 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                                            Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                            • Colington Harbour Beach->6 out of 33 days tested (18.2%)
                                            • Pamlico River—City Park in Washington->5 out of 19 days tested (26.3%)
                                            • Public Beach Southside of Dawson Creek Bridge->5 out of 20 days tested (25%)
                                              The North Carolina Coastal Federation made new responsibilities in 2020 to chip away at diminishing beach pollution by enforcing ways to help decrease stormwater overflow, which is an immense supplier of the degradation of swimming and fishing waters.

                                              Ohio: 54 of 54 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                • Maumee Bay State Park (Inland)->38 out of 58 days tested (65.5%)
                                                • Villa Angela State Park-> 36 out of 85 days tested (42.4%)
                                                • Euclid State Park-> 31 out of 71 days tested (43.7%)
                                                  Water tests in Ohio showed conceivably dangerous swimming water for at least one of the days at all of the beaches tested. The Ohio Department of Health constantly tracks the bacteria levels at local beaches as a part of its BeachGuard program, posting warnings and closures on hazardous swimming days.

                                                  Oregon: 18 of 20 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                  Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                  • Seal Rock State Recreation Site-> 13 out of 17 days tested (76.5%)
                                                  • Nye Beach-> 12 out of 14 days tested (85.7%)
                                                  • Rockaway Beach-> 9 out of 10 days tested (90%)
                                                    As per the Clean Water Act, the Oregon Health Authority tests beaches consistently for pollution, some of which is brought about by rainstorm overflow.

                                                    Pennsylvania: 8 of 9 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                    Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                    • Erie Beach 11-> 9 out of 32 days tested (28.1%)
                                                    • Barracks Beach-> 6 out of 29 days tested (20.7%)
                                                    • Beach 1 East-> 5 out of 32 days tested (15.6%)
                                                    The Erie County Department of Health, alongside Presque Isle's Regional Science Consortium, the U.S. Topographical Survey, and other research groups, made an E. Coli Taskforce, which tracks bacteria levels at beaches and attempts to improve water quality testing.

                                                    Puerto Rico: 24 of 35 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                      Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                      • Tropical Beach->15 out of 32 days tested (46.9%)
                                                      • Playa Guayanes-> 11 out of 29 days tested (37.9%)
                                                      • Playa Villa Lamela-> 8 out of 30 days tested (26.7%)
                                                        Weather calamities like Hurricanes Maria and Irma have been a factor in water pollution levels, alongside the going with overwhelming rainfalls of hurricane season.

                                                        Rhode Island: 44 of 65 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                                                          Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                          • Easton’s Beach-> 14 out of 34 days tested (41.2%)
                                                          • Scarborough State Beach—South->13 out of 40 days tested (32.5%)
                                                          • Third Beach-> 9 out of 25 days tested (36%)
                                                            The Rhode Island Department of Health has gained ground in diminishing the quantity of conceivably hazardous swimming days as of recently. The state is additionally home to associations like Save the Bay that work with government offices to make changes within community infrastructure to help reduce overflow into the sea water.

                                                            South Carolina: 12 of 23 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                            Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                            • Myrtle Beach-> 41 out of 50 days tested (82%)
                                                            • Briarcliffe Acres-> 18 out of 49 days tested (36.7%)
                                                            • Surfside Beach-> 16 out of 27 days tested (59.3%)
                                                              Myrtle Beach has attempted to address progressing pollutants issues along the shoreline. Activities incorporate a $22.6 million proposition for upgrades and changes to the foundation at Withers Watershed, a significant drainage system that streams into the Atlantic Ocean.

                                                              Texas: 55 of 61 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                                Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                                • Sargent Beach-> 96 out of 102 days tested (94.1%)
                                                                • Sylvan Beach Park-> 88 out of 89 days tested (98.9%)
                                                                • Palacios Pavilion-> 80 out of 95 days tested (84.2%)
                                                                  The Texas Beach Watch program, subsidized by the EPA and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) tests recreational beaches on a week after week basis during peak swimming season and at regular intervals the remainder of the year. The program's site is refreshed consistently with current water quality data.

                                                                  Virginia: 29 of 47 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                                  Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:

                                                                  • Hilton Beach-> 8 out of 15 days tested (53.3%)
                                                                  • King/Lincoln Park-> 5 out of 17 days tested (29.4%)
                                                                  • Fairview Beach-> 4 out of 15 days tested (26.7%)
                                                                  The Commonwealth of Virginia has spent above $1 billion in the previous decade to improve wastewater systems. The state has likewise dedicated to significantly lessening contamination in its waterways, streams, and bay by 2025.

                                                                  Washington: 38 of 73 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. 

                                                                    Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                                    • Dakwas Park Beach, Neah Bay-> 10 out of 51 days tested (19.6%)
                                                                    • Little Squalicum Park-> 8 out of 14 days tested (57.1%)
                                                                    • Pomeroy Park—Manchester Beach-> 6 out of 17 days tested (35.3%)
                                                                      The Washington Department of Ecology's BEACH Program routinely tracks the state's salt-water beaches  from May – September, just as they chose beaches throughout the winter. A few have been given permanent swimming warnings because of continuous hazardous bacteria levels.

                                                                      Wisconsin: 61 of 103 beach sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019.

                                                                        Many other beach site in the state with many potentially unsafe days:
                                                                        • South Shore Beach-> 17 out of 101 days tested (16.8%)
                                                                        • Fish Creek Beach-> 17 out of 21 days tested (81%)
                                                                        • Thompson West End Park Beach-> 12 out of 31 days tested (38.7%)
                                                                          The Great Lakes Coalition has attempted to lessen contamination in Lake Michigan. One of these activities has included modifying beach geology to slow stormwater from streaming into the lake and decreasing overflow.

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