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DHS news release

June 14, 2006


General questions: Bonnie Widerburg, DHS: 971-673-1282

Robert Smith, Oregon Parks and Recreation: 503-986-0665, cell 503-551-3528

Technical questions: Jennifer Ketterman, DHS: 971-673-0431

Greg Pettit, DEQ: 503-229-5349


Health advisories issued for water contact in three coastal locations:

Cannon and Rockaway beaches and D River State Park beach

Public health advisories were issued Wednesday due to higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at three locations -- near the storm water outfall at the Ecola Court beach access point at Cannon Beach in Clatsop County, Rockaway Beach in Tillamook County and D River State Park Beach in Lincoln County.


Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of  fecal bacteria, which can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Direct contact with the water should be avoided until the advisories are lifted, especially for children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.


While these advisories are in effect at Cannon and Rockaway beaches and D River State Park Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.


Although state officials discourage water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities on these beaches because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.


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. 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.