Overall, how would you rate New Jersey’s beaches, and in particular, the water?

First off, nothing compares to the blue waters of the Mediterranean or the Caribbean.

That’s clearly not what we have here.

Instead, I’d classify it as an “army greenish” hue.

Which is probably typical for the Northeastern coastline.

It’s what’s IN the water that scares me.

One night, I told the story of having gone to the shore at Ocean Grove and coming out of the water covered in what looked like little plastic bubbles.

Or I could only hope they were plastic bubbles.

My mind actually started to race, thinking the worst.

And I guess my suspicions were validated since, according to this:

Many beaches in Monmouth and Ocean counties show pollution levels that exceed state standards, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 22nd annual beach water report.

The municipalities that helped make Ocean and Monmouth counties the state’s worst included Beachwood Beach West, Brick’s Windward Beach and Point Pleasant Beach’s Maxon Avenue beach in Ocean County and Highlands’ Rec Center and Belmar’s L Street beach in Monmouth County.

Overall, New Jersey ranked fourth best in the nation for beach water quality, according to a news release from the council. Statewide, 3 percent of water samples violated national standards in 2011, up from 2 percent in 2010.

However, you’ll be happy to know that N.J. beach water is superior to New York's, according to this report:

In New Jersey, 3 percent of beach water samples violated national standards in 2011, ranking the state 4th out of 30 coastal states. New York violated standards 10 percent of the time, ranking it 24th.

Anyone who’s grown up in the New York City area has probably had an encounter with the dreaded “Coney Island whitefish”…or the mysterious black grease you’d get on your feet from just a mere dip in the water.

Insuring that the endless hoards of "Bennies" (God, I hate that term!) will continue to swoop down upon us for the foreseeable!

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