Which Are Maryland’s Cleanest Beaches?

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Photo by Barbara Gallagher via Delaware Way
Photo by Barbara Gallagher via Delaware Way

Every year, the Natural Resources Defense Council looks at beaches across the United States, measuring whether their water quality is safe for swimmers. Maryland beaches usually measure up… okay, with about 6 percent of water samples exceeding the NRDC’s limits for, um, acceptable contamination. (Want to know more about what “contamination” consists of? No, you don’t. But if you really do, check out the full report here.)

In any case, Maryland swimmers should be flocking to our two beaches that made the NRDC’s list of “superstars” — that is, swimming areas with water quality that doesn’t exceed the EPA’s contamination limits by more than 2 percent. They are Assateague State Park and Point Lookout State Park.

Water quality is important for many reasons. As the NRDC notes from an earlier report, “Along Maryland’s western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, one study showed that localized improvements in fecal coliform counts so that state standards are met would increase waterfront property values by approximately 6%.” So let’s celebrate our beaches with low rates of fecal coliform (aaaaak!) and go swimming at Assateague this summer.



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