Long Beach Island Beaches Reopened Following Medical Waste Washup
Several miles of beach closed Saturday in Ocean County when medical waste washed on to the shore will be reopened on Sunday
The Long Beach Island Health department reopened 13 miles of ocean waters closed from the northern border of Beach Haven -- not including the town of Beach Haven -- up to Barnegat Light.
Alliance For A Living Ocean reports that "crews worked through the night to clean the beaches and no more waste has been reported as washing up."
They urge caution and to avoid piles of debris and keep your eyes open if you are heading to the beach today.
State Department of Environmental Protection officials say the beaches were closed early Saturday afternoon after roughly 50 syringes were found. They were among various debris that also included large amounts of eel grass, wood and some plastics.
The DEP says the wash-ups occurred as the result of discharges from stormwater control systems. Heavy rain last week coupled with extreme high tides caused the systems to overflow, and officials say syringes are sometimes found in these discharges.
In Harvey Cedars, Mayor John Oldham told WNBC that he received the call from the Long Beach Island Health Department shortly before noon. “We pulled people to the west side of the high tide line” to allow visitors to stay on the beach, said Oldham.
"This is a devastating start to the beach season," said Cindy Zipf, executive director of the Clean Ocean Action advocacy group. "It's encouraging that local health officials are taking this so seriously. It is a harsh reminder that federal and state cuts to environmental monitoring and track down of pollution sources are a threat to.people and the economy."
View Section of Long Beach Island Closed in a larger map