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DHS news release

Dec. 13, 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

Precautionary health advisory LIFTED for Oregon beaches


A health advisory for contact with marine water along Oregon’s coast was lifted today by the Oregon Department of Human Services, in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.


The advisory was issued Dec. 6, 2007, after recent wind and rain storms. Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources, including storm water runoffSubsequent monitoring shows the concerns about contamination have subsided and the waters do 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. 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.