Testing the Waters
A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches
2012 Report Findings:
Our nation's beaches continue to experience significant water pollution that hurts local economies and puts the health of beachgoers and swimmers at risk.
Learn More About Your Beach
- Executive Overview
- Policy Solutions
- Ratings of Popular Beaches
- Swimming in the Great Lakes
- Health and Economic Impacts
- Sources of Beach Pollution
- Understanding the State Summaries
- Guide to Finding a Clean Beach
Tweet Your Support
NRDC’s annual guide to water quality at US beaches finds pollution still plagues coasts and Great Lakes: http://bit.ly/MV08dS #CleanBeaches @NRDC
Share on Facebook
What do you know about water quality at local beaches?
Ratings of Popular Beaches
NRDC issued star ratings to 200 popular beaches around the country. The star system awards up to five stars to each popular beach for exceptionally low violation rates and strong testing and safety practices. Criteria include testing more than once a week, notifying the public promptly when tests reveal bacteria levels violating health standards, and posting closings and advisories both online and at the beach. Last year, twelve beaches last received a 5-star rating.
- Alabama: Gulf Shores Public Beach
- Alabama: Gulf State Park Pavilion
- California: Bolsa Chica Beach
- California: Huntington State Beach, Brookhurst Street
- California: Newport Beach, 38th Street, 52nd/53rd Street
- Delaware: Dewey Beach
- Delaware: Rehoboth Beach - Rehoboth Ave.
- Maryland: Ocean City at Beach 6
- Minnesota: Park Point Franklin Park / 13th Street South Beach
- Minnesota: Park Point Lafayette Community Club Beach
- New Hampshire: Hampton Beach State Park
- New Hampshire: Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road
- Texas: South Padre Island (Town of South Padre Island)
NRDC Ratings for a Selection of U. S. Popular Beaches
|County||Beach Name||Stars||% of samples exceeding national standards||Monitoring frequency||Posts closings/ advisories online and at beach||Closings/advisories issued promptly|
- Beginning in 2012, all NJ beaches notify promptly.
- Many beaches in Florida have a reduced monitoring frequency in 2012 compared to 2011.
- Lingering impacts from the 2010 BP oil disaster aren't considered in the beach ratings.