WASHINGTON, DC, June 30, 2011 -- The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its 21st annual beach water quality report, which finds that stormwater runoff and sewer overflows continue to plague the nation's beaches. Last year saw the second-highest number of closing and advisory days in more than two decades.
The report, Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches, analyzes government data on beach water testing results from 2010 at more than 3,000 beach testing locations nationwide.
The report also provides a 5-star rating guide to 200 of the nation's most popular beaches, evaluating them for water quality and best practices for testing and public notification. New this year, NRDC is awarding top performers "Superstar" status. These Superstar Beaches are not only rated with 5 stars, they have also had perfect testing results for the past three years, indicating a history of very good water quality.
This year's Superstar Beaches are:
- 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
NRDC also highlights the top 10 "Repeat Offender" beaches with persistently poor water quality year after year. Sections of these beaches have had persistent contamination problems, with water samples exceeding public health standards more than 25 percent of the time for each year from 2006 to 2010:
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
Cabrillo Beach Station in Los Angeles County
Doheny State Beach in Orange County (2 of 6 monitored sections):• Doheny State Beach -- North of San Juan Creek
• Doheny State Beach -- Surf Zone at Outfall
Keaton Beach in Taylor County
North Point Marina North Beach in Lake County
Beachwood Beach West in Ocean County
Villa Angela State Park in Cuyahoga County
Ropes Park in Nueces County
Eichelman beach in Kenosha County
South Shore Beach in Milwaukee
Testing the Waters this year also includes a special section dedicated to oil-related beach closures, advisories, and notices in the Gulf of Mexico region since the BP oil spill last year.
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): www.nrdc.org
Full report: http://www.nrdc.org/beaches
The 5-star rating guide to 200 popular beaches: http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/200beaches.asp
Tips for a safe trip to the beach: http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/gttw.asp