The Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmentalist group, realeased its annual “Testing the Waters” report last week (8/1/2010). The report contains results from over 200 bay and ocean beach water samplings over the past year.
- Beachwood Beach West was ranked the state’s dirtiest with 51% of samples exceeding safe bacteria levels
- West Beach in Pine Beach had 33% of samples exceeding the state limit
- Money Island in Toms River had 26% of samples exceeding the state standard
- Ocean beaches fared better than bay beaches with levels of fecal bacteria minimal or non-existent
- Jennifer Street in Stafford Twp. and Parkertown Road Beach in Little Egg Harbor had no samples that exceeded state limits.
Experts believe that most of the bacteria content in local waterways is the result of leaky septic sytems and even public sewerage facilities, as well as pet waste that is washed down storm drains and fed through outfall pipes into the bay.
- Properly cleaning up pet waste
- Maintaining septic systems
- stormwater management plans
- Maintain and monitor sewerage systems
- Proposed laws to require fertilizer manufacturers to sell only low-nitrogen products
- Legislation to require and fund stormwater management plans
More information is available at: http://www.nrdc.org/ and http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/titinx.asp
Hi Everyone – Great post Susan. I encourage all who are interested in talking with you students about water quality to check out our COOL Classroom Hudson River Plume activity http://new.coolclassroom.org/adventures/explore/plume. There are some great interactives on non point source pollution and a great connection to showing kids how runoff from the land impacts the ocean. This relates well to Ocean Literacy principle 7 which focuses on human impacts on the ocean. Please let us know if you need help navigating the lesson. Laura and Carrie in particular are great at giving teaching tips on this one.
I think it would be very relevant to have students, especially young ones, physically see how quickly bacteria multiplies. Are there any “classroom safe” experiments that could demonstrate the process clearly? Maybe we could have Rob create a physical activity demonstrating the process kinesthetically… 😉