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DHS news release

August 24, 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 advisory lifted for water contact at Neskowin State Park Beach and Siletz Bay Beach




Health advisories for contact with marine water at Neskowin State Park Beach in Tillamook County and at Siletz Bay Beach in Lincoln County were lifted Thursday 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 Tuesday, after water samples at Neskowin State Park Beach and 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.


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 at the Beach Monitoring Program Web site.


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