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Pollution Took Heavy Toll at U.S. Beaches in 2010
Date:6/29/2011

inues to take a toll on water quality in the Gulf. By the end of January, 83 miles of coastline were still contaminated with oil and tar balls, and oil continues to wash ashore.

Overall, the report showed that monitoring samples had signs of contamination about 8 percent of the time, meaning that beaches were unsafe, said Jon Devine, senior attorney at the NRDC.

The geographic area with the most frequently contaminated beaches in 2010 was the Great Lakes -- 15 percent of water samples violated public health standards.

The southeast United States, the New York-New Jersey coast and Delaware/Maryland/Virginia region were the cleanest at 4 percent, 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, according to the report.

States with the highest rates of contamination were Louisiana (37 percent), Ohio (21 percent) and Indiana (16 percent). Those with the lowest rates last year were New Hampshire (1 percent), New Jersey (2 percent), Oregon (3 percent), Hawaii (3 percent) and Delaware (3 percent).

The report also cited the "Top 10 Repeat Offenders" -- beaches that were deemed unhealthy more than one-quarter of the time from 2006 to 2010. California led the list:

  • California: Avalon Beach in Los Angeles County (three of five monitored sections) -- Avalon Beach Near Busy B Cafe, Avalon Beach North of GP Pier, Avalon Beach South of GP Pier.
  • California: Cabrillo Beach in Los Angeles County.
  • California: Doheny State Beach in Orange County (two of six monitored sections) -- Doheny State Beach North of San Juan Creek, Doheny State Beach Surfzone at Outfall.
  • 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 Milw
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