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Pollution Closes More New Jersey Beaches in 2012; Report Says [AUDIO]

Pollution or the threat of contamination prompted more than 1,800 beach closings or advisories along the coasts of New Jersey and New York in 2012.

The waste that washed onto Long Beach Island beaches.
A sampling of the waste that washed onto Long Beach Island beaches (Facebook via Alliance For A Living Ocean)

That’s according to the 23rd Annual Beach Quality Report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The report also shows that more Garden State beaches were closed in 2012 than the year before.

“Basically, the report looks at the water quality results from sampling that is done at the beaches and the number of days when health advisories or closures were posted because of beach water pollution,” said Larry Levine, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“In New Jersey, the increase in closures happened for a couple of reasons. In Long Beach Island last summer, there was a one day incident where a lot of floating debris washed up on beaches. That included about 50 syringes. That resulted in the closure of 103 beaches in one day. Plus, the Ocean County Health Department began issuing more advisories,” said Levine.

In 2011, there were 131 closures or advisories for New Jersey beaches. In 2012, that number increased to 245. New Jersey beaches are not alone. According to the results, there were more than 20,000 beach closings and advisory days nationwide. Eighty percent of those were because of harmful levels of bacteria.

Beachwood Beach in Ocean County made the list as one of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s repeat offenders for exhibiting high bacteria counts five years in a row.

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