Best And Worst Beaches: More Pollution Found Nationwide

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A boat sits along Jones Beach, near one of the lifeguard stands, on the first week of the summer season. (Annmarie Fertoli/WNYC)

Beaches in the New York area boast some of the lowest bacteria levels in the nation — even though most seaside retreats were especially filthy last year, according to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Bacteria levels last year were the second highest they've been in 21 years — a byproduct of storm water and sewage overflows that has led to an increasing rate of infection among beach-goers over the years.
The NRDC ranks the best and worst beaches in the country, and officials urge cities around the nation to take frequent and accurate samples of beach water and encourage green practices on land to reduce runoff.


  • California: Avalon Beach in Los Angeles County
  • California: Cabrillo Beach Station in Los Angeles County
  • California: Doheny State Beach in Orange County
  • Florida: Keaton Beach in Taylor County
  • Illinois: North Point Marina North Beach in Lake County
  • New Jersey: Beachwood Beach West in Ocean County
  • Ohio: Villa Angela State Park in Cuyahoga County
  • Texas: Ropes Park in Nueces County
  • Wisconsin: Eichelman beach in Kenosha County
  • Wisconsin: South Shore Beach in Milwaukee

These beaches have had persistent contamination problems, and bacteria levels have exceeded health standards more than 25 percent of the time each year from 2006 to 2010.


  • Delaware: Rehoboth Beach-Rehoboth Avenue Beach, in Sussex County
  • Delaware: Dewey Beach, in Sussex County
  • Minnesota: Park Point Lafayette Community Club Beach, in St. Louis County
  • New Hampshire: Hampton Beach State Park in Rockingham County

These beaches have a perfect testing history – they test more than once a week, notify the public promptly when bacteria levels exceed health standards, and post closings and advisories both online and at the beach.


The beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates in New York in 2010:

Krull Park in Niagara County (64%  Pultneyville Mariners Beach in Wayne County (56%); Main Street Beach (44%), Wright Park East (42%), Point Gratiot Beach West (37%), Wright Park West (33%), Town of Hanover Beach (32%) and Sunset Bay Beach Club (31%) in Chautauqua County; and Hamburg Bathing Beach in Erie County (31%).

In New Jersey:

The beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates in 2010:

Beachwood Beach West (Beachwood) (27%), Windward Beach (Brick) (17%), West Beach (Pine Beach) (15%), Hancock (Seaside Heights) (15%), East Beach (Pine Beach) (13%), and 5th (Seaside Park) (11%), all back-bay or river beaches in Ocean County.

In Connecticut:

The beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates in 2010 were Kiddie's Beach (54%) and Green Harbor Beach (45%) in New London County, Branford Point Beach in New Haven County (28%), Shady Beach (24%) and Long Beach (Marnick’s) (24%) in Fairfield County, Anchor Beach (Merwin Point) #1 in New Haven County (22%), Long Beach (Proper) in Fairfield County (22%), Town Beach (Clinton) in Middlesex County (21%), and Pent Road Beach in New Haven County (20%).


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Comments [1]

Peter Maier from Stansbury, UT

Why is everybody surprised that our beaches still are polluted?
Sure urban and farm runoffs contribute to pollution, but why doesn't anybody care that our rivers are still used as urinals?
When EPA implemented the Clean Water Act, it used an essential test incorrect and as one of its many negative consequences, ignored not only 60% of the pollution in sewage Congress intended to treat, but also all the pollution caused by nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste. This waste besides exerting an oxygen demand, just like fecal waste, is also a fertilizer for algae, thus contributes to eutrophication, causing dead zones and of course also food for bacteria. (
The media, because this is a technical issue, will not investigate and as result nobody is holding the EPA accountable.

Jun. 29 2011 04:26 PM

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