The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) rated 200 popular beaches across the United States on a 5 star scale. Criteria for the NRDC’s rating scale include testing the water weekly, notifying the public promptly when tests reveal unsafe bacteria levels, and posting closings and advisories both online and at the beach.
Beaches that achieved 5 stars had exceptionally low violation rates and strong testing and safety practices. Of the 200 beaches, only 13 were given the highest possible rating of 5 stars.
Visit NRDC to see the full ratings report and to search for beaches near you.
Make sure you have bottled water on hand for an emergency, and know how to make water safe to drink if you run out.
Image description: In October, 35 students from Center High School, volunteers from the Blue River Watershed Association, and Environmental Protection Agency scientists monitored water quality and picked up trash at Indian Creek in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Toni Castro, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Sign up to receive alerts when water in rivers or streams near you is rising to dangerous levels.
From the U.S. Geological Survey:
To sign up go to WaterAlert and select a specific site. Then select the preferred delivery method (email or text), whether you want hourly or daily notifications about river data, and the specific water levels at which you want to be notified.
The International Coastal Cleanup will take place this Saturday. The cleanup is an annual event, sponsored in part by the Environmental Protection Agency, that includes over 100 countries and territories bordering every major body of water on Earth. It is the world’s largest volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment.
Last year, more than 8 million pounds of debris were removed from coastal, shoreline, and underwater sites around the world as part of the cleanup. Nearly 80 percent of the collected debris was considered disposable trash like plastic bags, bottle caps and soda bottles.
Learn more about this year’s International Coastal Cleanup and sign up to volunteer.