If you’re eyeing New Jersey beaches in order to soak up some sun, there’s something you need to know. (Sorry, we don’t mean to steal your sunshine.)
High bacteria counts in the water led to fifteen New Jersey beaches closing down in late July. The water quality advisories were in effect due to heightened levels of bacteria found in the water (chemicals, bird droppings, all that fun stuff). Now, according to new reports from ABC, these fifteen beaches have been reopened.
If you’re curious, the main offender found in the water was something called enterococcus, a bacteria found in the intestinal tract of most warm-blooded animals (so, it’s found in animal or human poop).
These fifteen New Jersey beaches have now been reopened, but for more information on the topic or to check up on closures and additional beach advisories you can check the Department of Environmental Protection Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program’s site. There, the Department of Environmental Protection states in regard to beach closings, “Beaches are closed if two consecutive samples collected at a bathing beach exceed the state standard. Beach closings remain in effect until subsequent sampling indicates bacteria levels are again below the standard. The closure applies to water activities like swimming, wading, and playing in the water. Other beach related activities like sunbathing and walking on the beach are unaffected.”
Rest assured that they have firm policies and action plans in place, and bacteria is far from the only cause of routine beach closures. The statement continues to say “Health authorities may close beaches at any time for any reason as a precaution in order to protect public health. Precautionary beach closings can be caused by wash-ups of debris or trash or household medical products, breaks or spills to sewer lines that may discharge to a bathing beach, extraordinary weather events, or any other condition that may affect public health. If a health authority closes a beach due to a wash-up of debris, they may limit all access to the beaches, if needed, to protect public health.” For more information, visit their site at njbeaches.org/closings_advisories.
While you may now be free to soak up the sun and frolic in the waves, make sure you shower off after your beach day thoroughly.