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DHS news release

June 22, 2007


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
Larry Caton, DEQ: 503-229-5491


Health advisories lifted for water contact at Mill Beach and Harris State Park Beach in Curry County




Health advisories for contact with marine water at Mill Beach and Harris State Park Beach in Curry County were lifted today by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.


The advisories were issued June 7, 2007, after water samples at Mill and Harris State Park beaches 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.


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


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 DHS, DEQ and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. More detailed test results are available on the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program Web site.


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