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Jersey Shore's Beach Water Quality: Stay Informed

Photo from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
Photo from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Out of thirty US states with beaches, New Jersey ranked 7th for beach water quality according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

In a study of beachwater from 2012, only 4 percent of the beaches in New Jersey had water samples that exceeded state samples of water quality. 

But it's not all good news: Beach closings in 2012 increased to 245 from 131 in 2011. (Stats on 2013 are not yet available.) 

Ocean County, part of the quintessential Jersey Shore and a tourist destination, had among the highest rates of bacteria of any county in New Jersey. 

And in May, the Environmental Protection Agency was forced to ground a helicopterthat was used to fight ocean dumping on the Shore. The helicopter, which has been in use since 1977, costs about $250,000 to use out of the $8 billion budget.

Luckily, the water quality at Ocean County Beaches are being constantly tested.  The most recent tests on use 17 showed that all beaches were in the clear: less than 200 colonies of dangerous bacteria per 100 milliliter of beach water. 

The National Resources Defense Council advises the residents and visitors of beach and shore communities to stay on top of the EPA and other policy makers to ensure the continued quality of their beaches. It's up to everyone on the Jersey Shore to keep the beaches clean. 

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