How to stay safe on the beach

The beach at Neskowin

The Oregon Health Authority lifted public health advisories for contact with marine water at Beverly Beach, Agate Beach, and Seal Rock Park Beach located in Lincoln County and Neskowin Beach and Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County on Friday, Sep. 13. The health authority issued the advisories on Tuesday, Sep. 10 and Wednesday, Sep. 11 after water samples showed higher than normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the water no longer poses a higher than normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.

Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

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