Beach Closures a Fact of Life This Holiday
As many Americans prepare to hit the water this upcoming holiday, a new study is reporting that last year, the nation's beaches saw the third-highest number of closing and advisory days in more than two decades. John Devine of The Natural Resources Defense Council says its latest beachwater quality report confirms the nation’s seashores continue to suffer from stormwater runoff and urban- suburban sewage pollution.
"Runoff from hard surfaces like rooftops,parking lots, roadways that picks up things that can contain bacteria... garbage, pet waste, wildlife waste... and whisks it to streams and ultimately to beaches untreated," Devine said.
Devine says New England is particularly vulnerable because many communities also have combined stormwater and sewage pipe systems that overflow during heavy rains. The report lists Massachusetts and Connecticut as among the most aggressive states in developing and issuing pre-emptive rainfall advisories and beach closures -- and there have been several closures in Connecticut this week.
You can find a link to the NRDC's report below. And you can also find a link to a new website developed by the Connecticut River watershed council and its partners, which includes a map showing water quality data for swimming holes up and down the river and its tributaries.