Westport has “superstar beaches,” new report says

An environmental group identified three beaches around Westport as “superstar beaches” based on water quality.

In its 24th annual report comparing water testing results from the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local coordinators, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel looked at results for about 3,500 beaches nationwide.

In Washington, 60 of 1,534 coastal beach areas are monitored for water quality. Of those, 12 percent exceeded the EPA’s “beach action value.” It’s a “conservative, precautionary tool for making beach notification decisions,” according to the agency.

The BAV, which identifies a safety threshold for enterococcus bacteria concentration, is currently an optional measurement, but would be required if new grant funding criteria are implemented by the EPA.

In Westhaven State Park, Half Moon Bay and the South Jetty had 46 and 47 samples, respectively, and an area called the groynes, where the jetty material runs perpendicular to the shoreline rather than parallel, 46 samples. None of the samples came back above the EPA’s threshold for bacteria.

They’re three of only 10 monitored beaches in the state to not exceed the threshold in any sample. Nationwide, 35 of the nearly 3,500 monitored beaches did not exceed the threshold during the year.

For the full report, visit www.nrdc.org/beaches.


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