Safe for swimming?

Pollution at Our Beaches and How to Prevent It

Pollution at Our Beaches and How to Prevent It

daveynin via Flickr CC BY 2.0
The Clean Water Act, adopted in 1972, set the goal of making all of our waterways safe for swimming. Nearly a half-century later, Americans visiting their favorite beach are still met all too often by advisories warning that the water is unsafe for swimming. And each year, millions of Americans are sickened by swimming in contaminated water.


An analysis of fecal indicator bacteria sampling data from beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico reveals that 386 beaches – nearly one of every eight surveyed – were potentially unsafe on at least 25 percent of the days that sampling took place last year. More than half of all the 3,172 beaches reviewed were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least one day. Beaches were considered potentially unsafe if fecal indicator bacteria levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Beach Action Value” associated with an estimated illness rate of 32 out of every 1,000 swimmers.

To protect our health at the beach, policymakers should undertake efforts to prevent fecal pollution, including deploying natural and green infrastructure to absorb stormwater.

Which beaches in tested potentially unsafe for swimming on the most days last year?

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Fairhope Public Beach Baldwin 12 56 21%
May Day Park Baldwin 7 31 23%
Dog River, Alba Club Mobile 7 33 21%
Orange Street Pier/Beach Baldwin 5 31 16%
Fowl River at Highway 193 Mobile 5 32 16%
Camp Beckwith Baldwin 4 52 8%
Mary Ann Nelson Beach Baldwin 3 18 17%
Kee Avenue Baldwin 3 30 10%
Orange Beach Waterfront Park Baldwin 3 31 10%
Volanta Avenue Baldwin 2 29 7%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Inner Cabrillo Beach*† Los Angeles 150 258 58%
Marina Del Rey Beach/ Mothers Beach*† Los Angeles 111 299 37%
Topanga State Beach† Los Angeles 101 257 39%
Santa Monica State Beach*† Los Angeles 93 305 30%
Will Rogers State Beach*† Los Angeles 83 306 27%
Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge* San Diego 76 146 52%
Long Beach* Los Angeles 74 146 51%
Malibu Lagoon State Beach*† Los Angeles 71 303 23%
Imperial Beach* San Diego 56 176 32%
Border Field State Park* San Diego 55 131 42%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

† Some beach water quality tests assessed E. coli for marine water, for which no Beach Action Value is available. Those tests were not considered in calculating potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Shady Beach* Fairfield 10 22 45%
Byram Beach* Fairfield 8 19 42%
Calf Pasture Beach* Fairfield 8 21 38%
Seaside Park Beach* Fairfield 6 14 43%
Branford Point Beach New Haven 6 18 33%
Compo Beach* Fairfield 5 13 38%
Lighthouse Point Beach* New Haven 5 15 33%
Great Captain’s Island Beach* Fairfield 4 18 22%
Oak Street B Beach New Haven 3 9 33%
Harvey’s Beach Middlesex 3 14 21%
Long Beach (Marnick’s) Fairfield 3 14 21%
Seabright Beach Fairfield 3 14 21%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Slaughter Beach Sussex 12 19 63%
Broadkill Beach Sussex 5 18 28%
Dewey Beach-Swedes Sussex 4 17 24%
Dewey Beach-Dagsworthy Sussex 4 40 10%
Rehoboth-Queen St Beach Sussex 2 16 12%
North Indian River Inlet Beach Sussex 2 17 12%
3 R’s Road Beach Sussex 1 16 6%
Atlantic Beach Near Gordons Pond Sussex 1 16 6%
Fenwick Island State Park Beach Sussex 1 16 6%
South Bethany Beach Sussex 1 16 6%
South Indian River Inlet Beach Sussex 1 16 6%
Tower Road-Ocean Beach Sussex 1 16 6%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
South Beach (Key West) Monroe 22 43 51%
Robert J. Strickland Beach Pasco 19 26 73%
Crandon Park – South Miami-Dade 19 67 28%
Higgs Beach Monroe 18 40 45%
Bayou Chico Escambia 16 25 64%
Bayou Texar Escambia 16 51 31%
Crandon Park – North Miami-Dade 14 62 23%
Blue Mountain Beach Access Walton 12 42 29%
Palma Sola South Manatee 12 44 27%
North Shore Ocean Terrace Miami-Dade 12 62 19%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
St. Simons Island Lighthouse Beach Glynn 9 47 19%
5th St. Crossover (St. Simons Island) Glynn 8 46 17%
Tybee Island Strand Chatham 6 45 13%
Tybee Island Polk St. Chatham 5 44 11%
East Beach Old Coast Guard (St. Simons Island) Glynn 5 45 11%
Massengale (St. Simons Island) Glynn 5 45 11%
Kings Ferry Chatham 4 4 100%
4H Camp (Jekyll) Glynn 4 44 9%
Jekyll Driftwood Beach Glynn 4 45 9%
Jekyll North at Dexter Lane Glynn 3 43 7%
Tybee Island Middle Chatham 3 43 7%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Kuliouou Beach Honolulu 10 11 91%
Hanalei Beach Co. Park* Kauai 9 59 15%
Niu Beach Honolulu 8 10 80%
Kalapaki Beach Kauai 7 48 15%
Beach House Beach Kauai 4 10 40%
Queen’s Surf Beach Park Honolulu 4 24 17%
Honoli’I Beach Co. Park Hawaii 4 27 15%
Hanauma Bay Honolulu 4 43 9%
Kualoa Co. Regional Park Honolulu 4 48 8%
Kuhio Beach Park Honolulu 4 56 7%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
63rd Street Beach Cook 19 101 19%
Calumet South Beach Cook 18 102 18%
South Shore Beach Cook 17 101 17%
Rainbow Beach Cook 16 102 16%
Margaret T Burroughs (31st St. Beach) Cook 15 101 15%
Rogers Avenue Park Beach Cook 12 86 14%
Ohio Street Beach Cook 10 100 10%
Hartigan Beach Cook 10 102 10%
Montrose Beach Cook 9 99 9%
Kathy Osterman Beach Cook 8 101 8%

State beach data is from alternate data source. See Methodology for details.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Jeorse Park Beach I Lake 28 94 30%
Jeorse Park Beach II Lake 20 94 21%
Whihala Beach West Lake 17 93 18%
Indiana Dunes State Park West Beach Porter 14 101 14%
Washington Park Beach LaPorte 14 113 12%
Buffington Harbor Beach Lake 13 93 14%
Broadway Beach Porter 10 101 10%
Hammond Marina East Beach Lake 9 101 9%
Whihala Beach East Lake 8 93 9%
Ogden Dunes West Beach Porter 8 101 8%

Beach name Parish Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Lake Charles North Beach Calcasieu 20 30 67%
Fontainebleau State Park St. Tammany 19 29 66%
Rutherford Beach Cameron 13 30 43%
Cypremort Point State Park St. Mary 10 30 33%
Holly Beach – 6 Cameron 10 30 33%
Holly Beach – 1 Cameron 8 30 27%
Constance Beach Cameron 7 30 23%
Grand Isle State Park – 1 Jefferson 7 30 23%
Little Florida Cameron 7 30 23%
Long Beach Cameron 7 30 23%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Tenean Beach Suffolk 44 90 49%
Kings Beach* Essex 43 88 49%
Malibu Beach Suffolk 20 87 23%
Wollaston at Channing Street Norfolk 20 87 23%
Constitution Beach* Suffolk 19 87 22%
Wollaston at Sachem Street Norfolk 15 87 17%
Wollaston at Milton Street Norfolk 14 87 16%
Wollaston at Rice Road Norfolk 13 87 15%
Landing Road Plymouth 8 21 38%
Salt Pond Barnstable 8 23 35%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Ocean City Beach 3* Worcester 8 28 29%
Ocean City Beach 6 Worcester 6 28 21%
Ocean City Beach 4 Worcester 5 28 18%
Grove Point Camp Cecil 3 5 60%
YMCA Camp Tockwogh* Kent 3 7 43%
Assateague State Park* Worcester 3 16 19%
Breezy Point Calvert 3 17 18%
Mayo Beach Park Anne Arundel 3 17 18%
Ocean City Beach 1 Worcester 3 28 11%
Echo Hill Camp (Youth Camp)* Kent 2 7 29%
Ferry Park Kent 2 7 29%
Gunpowder Falls – Hammerman Area Baltimore 2 7 29%
Tolchester Marina and Beach Kent 2 7 29%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Goose Rocks Beach* York 12 27 44%
Riverside (Ogunquit) York 7 18 39%
Little Beach York 4 15 27%
Short Sands Beach York 4 15 27%
Cape Neddick Beach York 4 16 25%
Higgins Beach* Cumberland 3 15 20%
East End Beach Cumberland 3 27 11%
Gooch’s Beach* York 2 13 15%
Laite Beach Knox 2 13 15%
Drakes Island Beach* York 2 14 14%
Ferry Beach (Scarborough) Cumberland 2 14 14%
Long Sands Beach – North* York 2 14 14%
Mitchell Field Beach Cumberland 2 14 14%
York Harbor Beach York 2 14 14%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
South Linwood Beach Township Park Bay 13 41 32%
Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach Macomb 10 53 19%
Pier Park Wayne 8 18 44%
St. Clair Shores Memorial Park Beach Macomb 8 50 16%
Singing Bridge Beach Arenac 7 12 58%
Brissette Beach Township Park Bay 6 39 15%
Pere Marquette Park Muskegon 5 12 42%
New Baltimore Park Beach Macomb 5 50 10%
Holland State Park Ottawa 4 8 50%
First Street Beach Manistee 4 11 36%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Park Point Sky Harbor Parking Lot Beach St. Louis 9 31 29%
Agate Bay Beach Lake 5 18 28%
Burlington Bay Beach Lake 3 15 20%
Durfee Creek Area Beach Cook 2 14 14%
Grand Marais Campground Beach Cook 2 14 14%
French River Beach St. Louis 1 12 8%
Bluebird Landing Beach St. Louis 1 13 8%
Chicago Bay Boat Launch Beach Cook 1 13 8%
Gooseberry Falls State Park Beach Lake 1 14 7%
Tettegouche State Park Beach Lake 1 14 7%
Twin Points Public Access Beach Lake 1 14 7%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Pass Christian West Beach Harrison 44 62 71%
Waveland Beach Hancock 43 62 69%
Bay St. Louis Beach Hancock 38 51 75%
Pass Christian Central Beach Harrison 31 51 61%
Gulfport Central Beach Harrison 30 50 60%
Shearwater Beach Jackson 27 50 54%
Pass Christian East Beach Harrison 25 49 51%
Gulfport West Beach Harrison 24 45 53%
Long Beach Harrison 24 46 52%
East Courthouse Road Harrison 21 46 46%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Colington Harbour Beach Dare 6 33 18%
Pamlico River – City Park in Washington Beaufort 5 19 26%
Public Beach Southside of Dawson Creek Bridge Pamlico 5 20 25%
Ragged Point Beaufort 5 34 15%
Pamlico River Railroad Trestle Beaufort 4 18 22%
New Bern Craven 4 19 21%
Dawson Creek Pamlico 4 20 20%
Pantego Creek Beaufort 4 32 12%
Bogue Sound – Goose Creek Carteret 3 19 16%
Dinah’s Landing Beaufort 3 19 16%
Vandemere Creek Pamlico 3 19 16%
Washington – Southeast of Washington Pt. Beaufort 3 19 16%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
North Hampton State Beach* Rockingham 7 34 21%
New Castle Town Beach* Rockingham 3 25 12%
Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road* Rockingham 2 25 8%
Foss Beach* Rockingham 1 9 11%
Sawyer Beach* Rockingham 1 13 8%
Jenness Beach at Cable Road* Rockingham 1 14 7%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Beachwood Beach West* Ocean 9 18 50%
Barnegat Light Bay Beach* Ocean 9 21 43%
Windward Beach* Ocean 8 21 38%
Harvey Cedars Borough at 75th Bay Front* Ocean 4 16 25%
Sea Girt Borough at New York Blvd* Monmouth 4 18 22%
Wildwood City at Bennett* Cape May 4 20 20%
Surf City Borough at 16th St. Bay Front Ocean 3 13 23%
Belmar Borough at L Street Beach* Monmouth 3 15 20%
Belmar Borough at 20th* Monmouth 3 17 18%
Long Branch City at Elberon Beach Club Monmouth 3 17 18%
Somers Point City at New Jersey Ave* Atlantic 3 17 18%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Tanner Park Suffolk 56 79 71%
Woodlawn Beach State Park* Erie 43 103 42%
Sayville Marina Park Suffolk 34 56 61%
Hamburg Bathing Beach Erie 32 95 34%
Valley Grove Beach Suffolk 27 51 53%
Venetian Shores Suffolk 25 51 49%
Benjamins Beach Suffolk 25 57 44%
East Islip Beach Suffolk 21 47 45%
Hewlett Beach Nassau 21 57 37%
Huntington Beach Community Association Suffolk 19 45 42%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Maumee Bay State Park (Inland) Lucas 38 58 66%
Villa Angela State Park Cuyahoga 36 85 42%
Euclid State Park Cuyahoga 31 71 44%
Lakeview Beach Lorain 25 59 42%
Lagoons Beach Erie 24 72 33%
Century Beach Lorain 23 59 39%
Beulah Beach Erie 23 72 32%
Sherod Park Beach Erie 22 72 31%
Main Street Beach Erie 21 71 30%
Bay View West Erie 20 72 28%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Seal Rock State Recreation Site* Lincoln 13 17 76%
Nye Beach* Lincoln 12 14 86%
Rockaway Beach* Tillamook 9 10 90%
Sunset Bay State Park* Coos 9 10 90%
Cannon Beach* Clatsop 9 11 82%
D River State Wayside* Lincoln 9 13 69%
Neskowin Beach State Wayside* Tillamook 8 10 80%
Agate Beach State Wayside* Lincoln 8 12 67%
Bastendorf Beach* Coos 6 7 86%
Hubbard Creek Beach at Humbug Mountain State Park* Curry 6 9 67%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Erie Beach 11* Erie 9 32 28%
Barracks Beach* Erie 6 29 21%
Beach 1 East* Erie 5 32 16%
Beach 6* Erie 3 31 10%
Beach 9 (Pine Tree Beach)* Erie 2 30 7%
Beach 8 (Pettinato Beach)* Erie 2 31 6%
Beach 7 (Water Works Beach)* Erie 1 28 4%
Beach 10 (Budny Beach)* Erie 1 29 3%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name Municipio Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Tropical Beach Naguabo 15 32 47%
Playa Guayanes Yabucoa 11 29 38%
Playa Villa Lamela Cabo Rojo 8 30 27%
Balneario Pico De Piedra Aguada 6 27 22%
Muelle De Arecibo Arecibo 5 28 18%
Balneario Patillas Patillas 4 25 16%
Playa Mojacasabe Cabo Rojo 4 27 15%
Balneario Crash Boat Aguadilla 3 25 12%
Balneario De Humacao Humacao 3 26 12%
Balneario Puerto Nuevo Vega Baja 3 27 11%
Balneario Sardinera Dorado 3 27 11%
Playa Ocean Park San Juan 3 27 11%

Note: At the time of analysis, Puerto Rico was still submitting 2019 beach data, and results may change following that process.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Easton’s Beach* Newport 14 34 41%
Scarborough State Beach – South* Washington 13 40 32%
Third Beach* Newport 9 25 36%
Scarborough State Beach – North* Washington 8 26 31%
Saunderstown Yacht Club* Washington 6 8 75%
Gooseberry Beach* Newport 5 14 36%
Bonnet Shores Beach Club* Washington 4 13 31%
Conimicut Point Beach* Kent 4 27 15%
Sandy Point Beach* Newport 4 27 15%
Oakland Beach* Kent 4 28 14%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Myrtle Beach* Horry 41 50 82%
Briarcliffe Acres* Horry 18 49 37%
Surfside Beach* Horry 16 27 59%
North Myrtle Beach* Horry 9 52 17%
Horry County Beaches South Carolina Campgrounds* Horry 8 20 40%
Hilton Head Island* Beaufort 3 10 30%
Harbor Island* Beaufort 3 12 25%
Horry County Beach Arcadia Beach* Horry 3 23 13%
Horry County Beaches South Carolina State Park Horry 2 21 10%
Sullivan’s Island* Charleston 1 10 10%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Sargent Beach* Matagorda 96 102 94%
Sylvan Beach Park* Harris 88 89 99%
Palacios Pavilion* Matagorda 80 95 84%
Jetty Park* Matagorda 78 96 81%
Surfside* Brazoria 75 93 81%
Follets Island* Brazoria 71 87 82%
Quintana* Brazoria 69 89 78%
Cole Park* Nueces 67 80 84%
Bryan Beach Brazoria 52 79 66%
Ropes Park Nueces 48 64 75%

* Beach has more than one associated testing site, which may affect number of potentially unsafe days.

Beach name County or independent city Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
Hilton Beach Newport News 8 15 53%
King/Lincoln Park Newport News 5 17 29%
Fairview Beach King George 4 15 27%
Anderson’s Beach Newport News 4 17 24%
Huntington Beach Newport News 4 17 24%
Captains Quarters Norfolk 4 20 20%
Ocean View Park, East Side of Parking Lot Norfolk 3 20 15%
Kiptopeke State Park Northampton 2 16 12%
Town of Cape Charles Public Beach Northampton 2 16 12%
Salt Ponds Hampton 2 18 11%

Beach name County Potentially unsafe days in 2019 Days with testing Percentage of testing days with potentially unsafe water
South Shore Beach Milwaukee 19 58 33%
Fish Creek Beach Door 17 21 81%
Thompson West End Park Beach Bayfield 12 31 39%
Blue Rail Marina Beach Manitowoc 12 43 28%
Ephraim Beach Door 12 56 21%
Red Arrow Park Beach Manitowoc Manitowoc 8 42 19%
Pennoyer Park Beach Kenosha 7 31 23%
Eichelman Beach Kenosha 7 43 16%
Murphy Park Beach Door 7 55 13%
Kreher Park Beach Ashland 6 28 21%
Maslowski Beach Ashland 6 28 21%

Beaches in where water tests show the highest number of potentially unsafe days.

Fecal contamination makes beaches unsafe for swimming. Human contact with contaminated water can result in gastrointestinal illness as well as respiratory disease, ear and eye infection and skin rash. Each year in the U.S., swimmers in oceans, lakes, rivers and ponds suffer from an estimated 57 million cases of recreational waterborne illness.

Do you love the beach?

Help keep your favorite beach safe and clean for your next visit. Join the wave of supporters urging senators to protect our beaches from pollution that puts swimmers and beachgoers at risk.

URGENT: Critical votes are happening soon, so please act now.

Photos: top-right, R Boed via flickr.com, CC-BY-2.0; others, public domain.

Our beaches are at risk. Runoff from paved surfaces, overflows from aging sewage systems, and manure from industrial livestock operations all threaten the waters where Americans swim. These pollution threats are getting worse with climate change, as more extreme precipitation events bring heavy flows of stormwater.

  • Sprawling development has created more impervious surfaces that cause runoff pollution and has destroyed natural areas like wetlands that protect beaches from contamination. From 1996 to 2010, U.S. coastal regions added 3.6 million acres of development, while losing 982,000 acres of wetland and millions of acres of forest.
  • America’s sewage infrastructure is deteriorating and outdated. Many communities, particularly around the Great Lakes, still use “combined sewers” that were designed to discharge sewage directly to waterways during heavy rainfall. Sanitary sewers, which are designed to carry sewage alone, can also spill dangerous sewage if they are not properly maintained, and overflow as many as 75,000 times each year in the U.S.
  • The rise of factory farms has resulted in large concentrations of livestock manure that cannot be stored safely and is often overapplied to crops. All too often, rainfall washes excess manure from cropland into our waterways where it can put swimmers’ health at risk. Animal manure also can contain pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics, creating added risk to public health.

Of more than 3,000 beaches sampled for bacteria across the country in 2019, 386 were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least 25% of days that testing took place.

  • As of May 2020, sampling data for 2019 from 3,172 beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico was available through the National Water Quality Monitoring Council’s Water Quality Portal.
  • Of those beaches, 1,793 had bacteria levels indicating potentially unsafe levels of fecal contamination for swimming on at least one day, and 386 were potentially unsafe on at least 25 percent of the days that sampling took place.
  • Swimmers could also be at risk at additional beaches where no bacterial testing was conducted or available through the Water Quality Portal.

Our recommendations

To ensure that all of our beaches are safe for swimming, policymakers should work to protect beaches from runoff and sewage pollution – including by stopping pollution at its source, and by protecting natural areas. Solutions include:

  • Dramatically increasing funding to fix sewage systems and prevent runoff pollution through natural and green infrastructure, including rain barrels, permeable pavement and green roofs.
  • Protecting wetlands, which filter out pollutants like bacteria.
  • Enacting moratoriums on new or expanded industrial-scale livestock operations, particularly in areas that threaten our beaches and other waterways.

Policymakers should also ensure that swimmers are presented with the best-possible information to make decisions regarding their health. Officials should expand funding for beach testing, to ensure adequate testing at all beaches. States should use EPA’s most protective “Beach Action Value” bacteria standard for making beach advisory decisions and should work to implement same-day bacteria testing and warning systems.


Did you find this information useful? Please help us keep up this work. To make change, we need to first understand the problems we’re trying to solve. And that takes research. We release hard-hitting reports produced by our research partners each year focusing on policy solutions we could pursue to address environmental issues ranging from climate change to conservation. You can help with a gift of $5 or more. 

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