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Source: Long Island Business News

Report ranks a few LI beaches among worst


Posted: July 28, 2010
Originally Published: July 28, 2010

An environmental group’s report regarding water quality gave most Long Island beaches a clean bill of health, but a few ranked among the worst in New York State.

The report ranked beaches in New York 21st in the nation in terms of water quality and gave most Long Island beaches good marks in terms of bacteria levels. But a few with the worst performance in the state also turned out to be on Long Island.

The National Resources Defense Council in a report titled “Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches” based on 2008 data found that 8 percent of samples taken at New York state beaches exceeded the state’s daily maximum bacterial standards.

Delaware ranked first in the nation in terms of performance while New Jersey ranked 10th just behind Florida at ninth place.

Most of Long Island’s beaches were well within bacterial guidelines, painting a picture of sandy shores and welcoming water. But a few did poorly.

“Municipalities need to use the report as a guide and aggressively move forward with technologies that treat stormwater pollution and address causes of elevated bacteria,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “It’s not rocket science.”

Stormwater contamination statewide was the biggest problem, leading to 1,355 days of contamination, while sewage led to 328 days, the two biggest sources of pollution.

Niagara County had the highest percent of samples in 2008 exceeding bacteria standards at 29 percent, followed by Wayne at 26 percent, Monroe at 24 percent and Erie at 22 percent. Suffolk was below the state average at 7 percent and Nassau was below that at only 5 percent.

The beaches statewide with the worst water, or the highest percent of samples exceeding the standard in 2008, were Krull Park in Niagara County with 42 percent percent.

But despite Suffolk’s profusion of beautiful beaches, Tanner Park in Suffolk County followed that with 41 percent of samples exceeding the standard.

Minasseroke Beach in Suffolk County also was ranked among the worst with 29 percent of samples above the standard along with the Suffolk Tides Property Owners Association beach with 22 percent and Woodcliff Park with 20 percent.

In Suffolk, 19 percent of Broadway Beach samples exceeded the standard, compared to 15 percent at Bayberry Cove Beach and 14 percent at Point O’woods Association-Bay and Wildwood State Park Beach.

In Nassau, Crescent Beach scored the worst with 22 percent above the standard, followed by Biltmore Beach with 16 percent, Phillip Healey with 14 percent and the Village of Laurel Hollow beach with 13 percent.

Seacliff Beach and Bar Beach also scored poorly with 12 percent of samples exceeding standards compared to 10 percent at Manor Haven Beach.

New York state’s beaches in addition to 200 miles of freshwater shoreline on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario span 127 miles of Atlantic coastline, 231 miles of Long Island Sound shorefront, 542 miles of bay beaches and 83 miles of shorefront on islands off the Long Island coast.