The annual Beach Buddies report examines pollution and safety of beaches. It rates cities and agencies that regularly monitor beaches, test the water and notify the public of any problems.
This year's Beach Buddies are:
- Branford, Connecticut
- Key West, Florida
- Salem, Massachusetts
- Los Angeles County Regional Water Board
- San Diego County Regional Water Board
The Natural Resources Defense Council says Mississippi wasn't listed, because the state is not doing a good job cleaning up the sources of pollution, like upgrading storm water prevention systems, improving sewage treatment plants, and replacing leaky sewer lines. It also says Mississippi doesn't follow EPA standards to monitor beach water.
NRDC Water Resources Director Sarah Chasis says, "The state and local authorities can do a lot to clean up the sources of beach water pollution. But, we need federal standards to provide some consistency so that if you go to the beach in California, New Jersey, Florida, you know you're going to be protected in a consistent fashion".
The report says in 2001, there were 83 beach closings or advisories in Mississippi. Nationwide, there were 13,410 closings and advisories. That's 19% higher than in 2000, which indicates that increased monitoring continues to reveal serious water pollution at our nation's beaches.