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DHS news release

Feb. 7, 2008

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: 503-693-5726

Precautionary health advisory lifted for two coastal locations

en español


Health advisories for contact with marine water at Nye Beach in Lincoln County and at Umpqua Beach in Douglas County were 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 advisories were issued Tuesday, after recent sewage spills occurred. Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources, including storm water runoff and sewer overflows. Subsequent 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 the Beach Monitoring Program Web site.