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Report: Fecal contamination found in various Florida beaches

beach (florida)
Posted at 9:23 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 21:29:30-04

(WTXL) — Fecal contamination has been found in various Florida beaches, according to a recent report.

The latest report released this month from Environment American Research and Policy Center (EARPC) says fecal contamination, urban runoff, sewage leaks overflow, and industrial-scale livestock operations were all found in various beaches in Alabama and Florida.

In 1972 "The Clean Water Act (CWA)" was adopted into federal law making it unlawful to discharge any pollutants in navigating waters.

This law also called for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement regulations and quality standards for surface waters.

EARPC says in their report, 46 years after the act was implemented, Americans visiting their favorite beach are often met by "an advisory warning that water is unsafe for swimming and even worse, in recent years millions of Americans have been sickened by swimming in contaminated water."

EARPC says in their report an analysis of bacteria sampling data was collected from beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico reveals that "more than half of all sites tested were potentially unsafe for swimming on at least one day in 2018 and 610 sites were potentially unsafe at least 25 percent of the days that sampling took place."

In Florida, the report says 263 sites sampled in 2018, 180 were potentially unsafe for at least one day.

Here are the top five Florida counties by an average percentage of potentially unsafe beach days according to EARPC:

  • Hernando County: 38%
  • Okaloosa County: 22%
  • Escambia County: 20%
  • Walton County: 18%
  • Gulf County: 17%

Top six Florida sample sites by the number of potentially unsafe days:

  • Bayou Texar: 24 (Escambia County)
  • Sanders Beach: 23 (Escambia County)
  • Crandon Park on Key Biscayne: 17 (Miami-Dade County)
  • Bird Key Park: 17 (Sarasota County)
  • Venice Fishing Pier: 15 (Sarasota County)
  • Bayou Chico: 14 (Escambia County)

In Alabama, the report says of 25 sites sampled in 2018, 21 were potentially unsafe for at least one day.

Here are the top two Alabama counties by the average percentage of potentially unsafe beach days:

  • Mobile County: 10%
  • Baldwin County: 10%

Top five Alabama sample sites by the number of potentially unsafe days:

  • Fairhope Public Beach: 21 (Baldwin County)
  • Dog River, Alba Club: 9 (Mobile County)
  • Camp Beckwith: 8 (Baldwin County)
  • Volanta Avenue: 8 (Baldwin County)
  • Orange Street Pier: 6 (Baldwin County)

For a full review of the Environment American Research and Policy Center's "Safe for Swimming ?" report click here.