EnvironmentJune 29, 2012
Beached: NRDC Rates Our Shorelines for Pollution
This week the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches. For some of us, reading the annual report card – or at least hearing its scarier parts summarized on the Six O’clock News – has become a summer ritual, the last piece of broccoli we must swallow before happily heading to our favorite polluted shoreline.
This year’s guide looks at the state of beaches in 2011 and rates them. Among its findings:
- Don’t Drink the Water: “[O]ne study found that swimmers at polluted beaches in the Great Lakes region were more likely to have gastrointestinal illnesses than nonswimmers; another study found that fecal contamination at Los Angeles and Orange County beaches caused between 627,800 and 1,479,200 excess gastrointestinal illnesses each year.
- Economics: “Our coasts provide more than just local recreation – approximately 85 percent of all U.S.
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