Go ahead, make a day of it: City beaches better - Metro US

Go ahead, make a day of it: City beaches better

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the Hamptons this Labor Day weekend — city beaches are the cleanest they’ve been in the past five years, according to a new study.

According to the “Report Card on Beaches,” released this month by a group called New Yorkers for Parks, city beaches have cleaned up their act.

The average beach score was 87 percent — a B+ in the report — up from an average of 59 percent — an F — in 2007.

Volunteers examined beaches’ shorelines, pathways, bathrooms and drinking fountains for maintenance, cleanliness, safety and structure.

Where can you find the city’s cleanest beach? That’d be South Beach in Staten Island, which went from “unsatisfactory” and a 56 percent approval rating in 2009 to a 99 percent approval rating this year. Orchard Beach in the Bronx also ranked high, with a 95 percent rating.

In Brooklyn, Coney Island/Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach also improved from “unsatisfactory” and “challenged” in 2007 to “very good” when rated this year.

At Coney Island, Yisenia Gutierrez said she now feels comfortable bringing her 3-year-old, Leonidaz, to play.

“It used to be like, as soon as you see the sand, you see everything — diapers, glass,” she said.

Joseph Yassin said when he and classmates from Brooklyn Technical High School used to dig holes on Coney Island beaches in previous summers, they found money, slippers and an umbrella. He notes that the sand is “cleaner than past years.”

All seven city beaches improved in 2001, with only one beach — Wolfe’s Pond Beach in Staten Island — receiving a 62 percent rating of “challenged,” with reports of litter and debris clogging the sand.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.

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