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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 020-10
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MEDIA CONTACT: (212) 788-5290
Celina De Leon/Zoe Tobin: PressOffice@health.nyc.gov


Memorial Day Weekend Kicks Off Beach Season in New York City

Health Department Announces City’s Beaches Are Open for Swimming

May 25, 2010 – In time for the holiday weekend, the Health Department announced today that all of the city’s 21 public and permitted private beaches will be open for the season beginning Saturday, May 29. Swimming at public beaches is permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. when lifeguards are on duty. Public beaches will be open through Labor Day. The following are the public beaches in the city:

Bronx: Orchard Beach

Brooklyn: Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach

Queens: Rockaway Beach

Staten Island: Midland Beach, South Beach, Wolfe’s Pond Beach

“Swimming is a great way to get exercise while staying cool in the summer,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner. “New Yorkers should be sure to enjoy the water only when lifeguards are on duty. And please avoid diving in places where it is not specifically permitted.”

The Health Department regularly tests the city’s beach water and inspects beaches to check for compliance with local, state and federal safety standards. When water near the beaches becomes contaminated, it can pose health risks – especially to infants, toddlers, people over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Beach advisories, closures and water quality test results will be posted at www.nyc.gov/health/beach and updated regularly throughout the summer. You can also get this information by calling 311.

Health Department Beach Advisory System (see below for full descriptions)

OPEN Swimming and bathing permitted
WET WEATHER ADVISORY Advisory – Wet-weather conditions, swimming and bathing not recommended
ADVISORY Advisory – Swimming and bathing not recommended
CLOSED Closed. Swimming and bathing temporarily not permitted.

Wet Weather Advisory

A wet weather advisory may be issued following a period of heavy rainfall, which could lead to sewer overflows and storm runoff from streets and other properties, causing unsafe levels of bacteria in some beach waters. Ingesting water with bacteria can cause illness. The Health Department does not recommend swimming in any area placed under a wet weather advisory.

Wet Weather Advisories apply only to certain beaches. For a complete list, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/beach/beach_adv.shtml#wetweather.

Advisory

The Health Department issues advisories to recommend against swimming whenever a preliminary water quality assessment indicates that bacteria levels or other conditions may pose a risk of illness.

Closed

Beaches will be closed if weather or environmental conditions pose a significant threat to public health. City beaches may due to one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Water tests confirm that enterococci bacteria (microbes that indicate fecal pollution) exceed standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Tests indicate a significant incidence of illness or injury among beach patrons.
  • There are potentially hazardous amounts of floating debris, medical or infectious waste, toxic contaminants, petroleum products or other contamination on the beach, or there is evidence of sewage and wastewater discharge in quantities that adversely affect water quality.
  • Environmental factors (e.g. rip currents) pose a health or safety hazard.
For additional information on all beach happenings this summer, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks or call 311.

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