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

aukee.

The report lauded four beaches that got the highest ratings for water quality and followed the "best practices" for water monitoring and notification of the public when problems occurred:

  • 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.

Devine said it was possible to do more to improve water quality at the beach, but it requires a big effort across communities, not just where the water begins.

"Cities and communities around the country are proving that investing in smarter, greener infrastructure and practices on the land -- things like porous pavement, green roofs and roadside plantings -- will make a real difference," Devine told HealthDay. Some of these approaches are designed to limit runoff from rainfall by allowing water to seep back into the land or be stored.

Monitoring practices can be improved too, Devine added, through more frequent testing of water quality and outreach to the public about the results. In some cases, beaches are polluted for some time before monitoring systems detect a problem.

Adina Paytan, a research professor and marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said the new report seems accurate and its conclusions are valid. There are challenges to be met, she said, including the cost of preventing beach pollution.

Paytan added that it would be helpful to understand how the expenses of pollution prevention compare to the possible financial benefits of cleaner beaches, such as economic savings in affected communities.

More information

For more about beach pollution, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


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