WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) — The Natural Resources Defense Council released its 21st annual beach report Wednesday.
During a conference call with officials from the NRDC, 2010 statistics were released about North Carolina’s beaches. Of the 30 Coastal and Great Lakes states that were monitored, North Carolina ranked seventh in beach water quality, with 4% of its samples exceeding national standards.
New Hanover County was listed as the county to exceed the state’s daily maximum bacterial standards the most with 4%. Dare and Brunswick counties followed with 3%, and Pamlico and Carteret exceeded the rate 2% of the time. Pender, Beaufort and Currituck counties only exceeded it 1% of the time.
According to the report, the Ocean Pier at K. Avenue in Kure Beach ranked the highest in New Hanover County for exceeding state standards. The water there was tested 34 times over the year and 6% of the samples exceeded state bacterial standards.
Here is a list of other New Hanover County beach percentages:
- Public beach at Masonboro Sound, at the end of Florida Avenue (tested 20 times/yr.; exceeded state standards 5%)
- Cama access, on the corner of Waynick Blvd. in Wrightsville Beach (tested 114 times/yr.; exceeded state standards 5%)
- Trails end public access on Masonboro Loop (tested 20 times/yr; exceeded state standards 5%)
- Fort Fisher Beach State Park access off Loggerhead Road (tested 33 times/yr; exceeded state standards 3%)
- Ocean pier at Nathan St. and South Lumina Drive (tested 33 times/yr; exceed state standards 3%)
- Stone St. public access, Oceanside of Wrightsville Beach (tested 34 times/yr; exceeded state standards 3%)
Also included in the report was information about a water filtration system built into Kure Beach’s sand dunes. Two filtration units, consisting of plastic chambers on a bed of gravel, were installed by the Kure Beach Public Works department in 2006 and a third system followed in 2009. At the entrance of the filtration unit, fecal bacteria levels were at 1,000 cfu/100 ml. and at the base of the dunes it had dropped to 10 cfu/100 ml.
Beach pollution can cause skin rashes, respiratory infections, stomach flu, and ear, nose and throat issues, especially for senior citizens and children. NRDC officials encourage beachgoers to avoid swimming within 72 hours of a big rain or near a storm drain.
They also offer several tips for people to help prevent beach pollution. Here are some simple steps:
- Pick up pet waste
- Maintain septic systems
- Put swim diapers with plastic covers on babies
- Keep trash off the beach