Bronx Has City's Dirtiest Beaches, Report Says

By Nicholas Rizzi on June 27, 2013 9:36am 

 The city's beach-water quality increased slightly last year, but storm runoff still led to more than 1,000 closures statewide, a report found.
The city's beach-water quality increased slightly last year, but storm runoff still led to more than 1,000 closures statewide, a report found.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

NEW YORK — The city's dirtiest beaches are in the Bronx while Brooklyn has the cleanest, according to a report released Wednesday.

The National Resources Defense Council’s annual report on public water quality found that 15 percent of samples from The Bronx violated health standards. Only 5 percent of the water taken from Brooklyn's shoreline violated standards.

Statewide, New York's beaches still ranked low because of storm runoff after rainfall, said Larry Levine, a senior attorney for the NRDC.

“What’s constant is we see rainfall and polluted runoff as really being the dominant factor,” Levine said.

“It shouldn't be the case, and it doesn't need to be a case, that a rainy Friday means a polluted beach on Saturday and Sunday.”

The water quality at New York State's beaches ranked 22 out of 30 in the country last year, up from 24 in 2011.

In the city, public beaches generally had much cleaner water than private beaches. The private White Cross Fishing Club in The Bronx tallied the worst results in the city, with 23 percent of samples not meeting health standards, the report found.

In total water quality, Staten Island ranked just ahead of The Bronx, with 8 percent of the samples found to be below standard. In Queens, 7 percent of the samples missed the mark for cleanliness.

Manhattan does not have any beaches ranked by the NRDC.

For public beaches, Wolfes Pond Park, on Staten Island, had the worst water quality, with 15 percent of the samples showing health violations.

The beach quality report ranks 200 of the most popular beaches in the country by five-star ratings, which are given not only for clean water but also for frequency of testing and notifications of beach closures.

In New York, no beaches received a five-star rating last year, but parts of Coney Island Beach and Rockaway Beach received four-star rankings, the report said.

For swimmers ready to hit the beach this summer, Levine said to check the city Health Department’s website for beach closures, and to generally avoid the beach a day after any rainfall and three days after heavy rain.

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