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Children's Health

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Near Record High Number of Beach Closings in 2010

From Bacteria to Oil, Nation's Beaches Took a Beating Last Year, Report Finds

Common Sense Advice for Beach Days continued...

And always make sure you check for closures or advisory notices before you hit the beach, he says. "If the water looks or smells funny, don’t go in,” he says.

“Picking up your garbage, not feeding birds or other wildlife, cleaning up after your pets, and directing water runoff from your house to soil, not the street also helps,” he says.

On a national level, green infrastructure -- which involves the use of techniques that allow rainwater to infiltrate the soil, instead of flowing to storm drains that carry it to nearby water bodies -- is part of the safer beach water solution. Congress is mulling over a Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act.

Gulf Oil Spill Update: Some Cleanup Progress Made

This year’s report includes a special section dedicated to oil-related beach closures and advisories in the Gulf of Mexico region since the oil spill last year. “Two states -- Florida and Louisiana -- still have closure or advisory notices posted into 2011,” Devine said.

“In terms of overall figures, this was a big deal and it affected nearly 9,500 beach days around the Gulf in the last two years, but the oil spill is affecting fewer beaches now than last year.”

Beach Award Winners and Losers

The new report awarded “Superstar Beach” status to four U.S. beaches:

  • Rehoboth Beach-Rehoboth Avenue Beach, in Sussex County, Dela.
  • Dewey Beach, in Sussex County, Dela.
  • Park Point Lafayette Community Club Beach, in St. Louis County, Minn.
  • Hampton Beach State Park in Rockingham County, N.H.

These awards are issued because winning beaches test their water more than once a week, notify the public promptly when tests reveal bacteria levels exceeding health standards, and post closings and advisories online and at the beach.

The report also listed the top 10 “Repeat Offender” beaches with persistently poor water quality year after year.

These repeat offenders include:

California: Avalon Beach in Los Angeles County (3 of 5 monitored sections):

  • Avalon Beach - Near Busy B Café
  • Avalon Beach - North of GP Pier
  • Avalon Beach - South of GP Pier

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