Public health advisories were issued today due to
higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at D River Beach, located
in Lincoln County, and Heceta Beach in Lane County.
Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which
can result in diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory
infections and other illnesses. Direct contact with the surf or water running
into the surf in this area should be avoided until the advisories are lifted,
especially for children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to
Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from
both shore and inland sources, such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows,
failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.
While these advisories are in effect at D River Beach and Heceta Beach,
visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, 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.
The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change.
For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program
website or call 971-673-0400, or 877-290-6767 toll-free.
Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to
encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on
the beach, walking, etc.) on these beaches because they pose no health risk
even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by these
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 organizations
participating in this program are the Oregon Public Health Division, Oregon
Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
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