The Top 5 Most Polluted Beaches in the United States

  Beach State Percent Exceedance
1 Shired Island Florida 90%
2 Kings At Stacy Brook Massachusetts 72%
3 Jeorse Park Beach I Indiana 67%
4 Cockle Cove Creek - Parking Lot Massachusetts 62%
5 Dekle Beach Florida 62%
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 Special Report
  1. During 2008, there were 20,341 days of closings and advisories at U.S. ocean, bay, and Great Lakes beaches due to water pollution. Beach closings and advisories hit their fourth highest level in the 19 years the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been tracking them.
  2. The number of beach closing and advisory days decreased 10 percent (2,242 days) in 2008 from 2007, The major factor leading to the decrease in 2008 appear to be decreased rainfall in many areas of the country.
  3. Stormwater runoff was the most frequently identified source of beach closing and advisory days.
  4. Polluted waters may contain disease-causing organisms called pathogens. The most common types of pathogens are those associated with human and animal waste, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Swimmers in sewage-polluted water can contract any illness that is spread by fecal contact, including gastroenteritis, respiratory infection, and ear and skin infections.
  5. As of 2008 there is no federal requirement in the United States that states monitor their beaches or notify the public when water quality standards are violated.
Tags: Water, Top 5 Most, The Environment

Sources:  Natural Resources Defense Council Issue Paper: Testing the Waters, A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches 2009.

List Notes: Data is beaches with More Than 25 Percent of Samples Exceeding Daily National Standards in 2008 (limited to beaches with at least 10 total samples reported for the year).
Most Polluted Beaches in the United States

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