2011-07-08 / Community

Beaches Not So Dirty After All

By Nicholas Briano

Rockaway beaches among the cleanest in the city. Rockaway beaches among the cleanest in the city. The waters of Rockaway Beach have been declared some of the cleanest in the city, according to an annual report released last week by the National Resources Defense Council.

The water was tested from May to September 2010 and the report ranks all the beaches in New York State on a five tier ranking system according to levels of contaminants and pollutants.

The report also indicates the water samples exceeding state standards for contamination.

According to the reports, every Rockaway beach from Far Rockaway to Riis Park was ranked at tier three with none of the samples exceeding the state’s standards for water pollutants and contaminants.

Coney Island and other Brooklyn beaches, however, were ranked as some of the dirtiest in the state with Gerritsen Beach exceeding state standards by 14 percent. Parts of Coney Island and Brighton Beach exceeded state standards by nine percent. The NRDC says that poor water quality within New York City is due in part to two-thirds of the 6,600 miles of New York City sewer and storm drain pipes which discharge a mixture of precipitation runoff and raw sewage into New York waterways, especially in and around New York Harbor. Rockaway is the only ocean beach in the city with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean, unlike other city beaches which are located in and around bays and harbors.

New York State overall ranked 19th out of 30 coastal states where beach water quality was tested. If the thought of contaminated and polluted water is too much for you, beaches across state lines in New Jersey rank second in the nation for clean beach water.

The full report can be read at NRDC.org.

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