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DHS news release

June 2, 2006


Contacts: Jim Sellers, DHS (503) 945-5738
Robert Smith, Oregon Parks & Recreation, (503) 986-0665, cell (503) 551-3528

Technical contacts: Joel Sherman, DHS, (971) 673-0441
Greg Pettit, DEQ, (503) 229-5349

Health advisory lifted for water contact at Siletz Bay beach

A health advisory for contact with marine water at Siletz Bay beach in Lincoln County was lifted Friday by the Oregon Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The advisory was issued on Thursday after water samples at Siletz Bay beach showed higher-than-normal levels of enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria, in the marine water. Subsequent testing showed the contamination had subsided and the waters did not pose a higher-than-normal risk associated with water-contact activities.

Since 2003, state officials have used a federal Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Such bacteria can cause illness in swimmers and others who come into contact with ocean water.

State officials encourage recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, however, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.

Water quality is monitored at selected beaches along Oregon's coast by the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program. The program is funded by a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Oregon state agencies participating in this program are the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. More detailed test results are available at www.healthoregon.org/beach