Friday, August 24, 2012
Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution With ArtAlthough single-use plastics are widely recognized as one of the largest threats to our oceans, plastic pollution is even more nefarious than what washes up on our beaches daily. Those tiny pieces of plastic that you see on your trip to the shore this summer are sadly a symptom of a much larger problem. The bulk of the plastic debris in our oceans accumulates not on the beaches, where it is easily seen, but in giant “garbage patches,” floating like minestrone soup thousands of miles off of our coasts. Suspended particles in the sea create a recipe for disaster harming animals and poisoning the food chain as a deadly “plastic soup.”Read more in Francesca Koe’s post about artists who are turning the tragedy of marine plastic pollution into compelling works of art.

Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution With Art
Although single-use plastics are widely recognized as one of the largest threats to our oceans, plastic pollution is even more nefarious than what washes up on our beaches daily. Those tiny pieces of plastic that you see on your trip to the shore this summer are sadly a symptom of a much larger problem. The bulk of the plastic debris in our oceans accumulates not on the beaches, where it is easily seen, but in giant “garbage patches,” floating like minestrone soup thousands of miles off of our coasts. Suspended particles in the sea create a recipe for disaster harming animals and poisoning the food chain as a deadly “plastic soup.”

Read more in Francesca Koe’s post about artists who are turning the tragedy of marine plastic pollution into compelling works of art.

Saturday, July 7, 2012
Demand Safer Beaches.Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s current water quality plan, a trip to the beach could leave swimmers with a 1-in-28 chance of getting sick from water tainted by human and animal waste. Unless the EPA strengthens its plan using the best available science, too many children and adults will needlessly become ill because beach posting and cleanup decisions will be based on weak standards. Help make sure our beaches are safer and that a trip to the beach doesn’t turn into a trip to the doctor’s office. Send a message to the EPA before October 15th, urging the agency to propose a water quality plan that will protect the health of Americans spending a day at the beach.
Take Action: Ask the EPA to issue health-based water quality criteria.
Photo: Hannah Arista/Docuvitae

Demand Safer Beaches.
Under the Environmental Protection Agency’s current water quality plan, a trip to the beach could leave swimmers with a 1-in-28 chance of getting sick from water tainted by human and animal waste. Unless the EPA strengthens its plan using the best available science, too many children and adults will needlessly become ill because beach posting and cleanup decisions will be based on weak standards.

Help make sure our beaches are safer and that a trip to the beach doesn’t turn into a trip to the doctor’s office. Send a message to the EPA before October 15th, urging the agency to propose a water quality plan that will protect the health of Americans spending a day at the beach.

Take Action: Ask the EPA to issue health-based water quality criteria.

Photo: Hannah Arista/Docuvitae

Friday, July 6, 2012
Wondering how clean the water is at your favorite vacation spot? Finding an answer can be tricky. There is no national protocol for protecting the public from unsafe swimming water, so beach testing and closing/health advisory practices vary from beach to beach and state to state.
To find out if an ocean, bay or Great Lakes beach is monitored regularly for pollution, start with Testing the Waters 2012. The NRDC report will give you the details on beachwater monitoring practices and standards—and tell you how often those standards were exceeded in 2011. It also reports on whether local authorities notify the public when they discover beachwater pollution.
Click here for a list of 200 popular U.S. beaches that rates their water quality and their monitoring and notification practices.
Photo: Lisa Beebe

Wondering how clean the water is at your favorite vacation spot? Finding an answer can be tricky. There is no national protocol for protecting the public from unsafe swimming water, so beach testing and closing/health advisory practices vary from beach to beach and state to state.

To find out if an ocean, bay or Great Lakes beach is monitored regularly for pollution, start with Testing the Waters 2012. The NRDC report will give you the details on beachwater monitoring practices and standards—and tell you how often those standards were exceeded in 2011. It also reports on whether local authorities notify the public when they discover beachwater pollution.

Click here for a list of 200 popular U.S. beaches that rates their water quality and their monitoring and notification practices.

Photo: Lisa Beebe

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Our beaches are plagued by a sobering legacy of water pollution. Luckily, today more than ever, we know that much of this filth is preventable and we can turn the tide against water pollution. By establishing better beach water quality standards and putting untapped 21st century solutions in place – we can make a day at the beach as carefree as it should be, and safeguard America’s vital tourism economies. NRDC senior attorney Jon Devine, quoted in this CNN article about NRDC’s new Testing the Waters.  Testing the Waters is NRDC’s annual guide to water quality at vacation beaches.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Bolsa Chica State Beach in Orange County, CA, was awarded “5 star” status by NRDC’s Testing the Waters beach report. (Photo: Will Hastings, via Flickr)
How Clean Is This Beach? While some “five-star"  beaches have consistently good water quality, carefully monitor pollution, and inform the public when it’s too risky to swim, others have persistent contamination problems, according to Testing the Waters, NRDC’s annual report on beachwater pollution.
You can check the water quality of your favorite beach by zip code on our searchable map. Find out which beaches do a good job of monitoring pollution, and which ones you might want to avoid if you’re planning a trip to the waterfront.

Bolsa Chica State Beach in Orange County, CA, was awarded “5 star” status by NRDC’s Testing the Waters beach report. (Photo: Will Hastings, via Flickr)

How Clean Is This Beach?
While some “five-star"  beaches have consistently good water quality, carefully monitor pollution, and inform the public when it’s too risky to swim, others have persistent contamination problems, according to Testing the Waters, NRDC’s annual report on beachwater pollution.

You can check the water quality of your favorite beach by zip code on our searchable map. Find out which beaches do a good job of monitoring pollution, and which ones you might want to avoid if you’re planning a trip to the waterfront.