A public health advisory for contact with marine water at Sunset Bay State Park Beach, located in Coos County, and Hubbard Creek Beach and Mill Beach, both located in Curry County was lifted today by the Oregon Health Authority. The advisory was issued July 24 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.
Results from subsequent samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality showed contamination had subsided, and the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk associated with water contact activities. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools and runoff from water frequented by birds, because this can be an indication of increased bacteria from fecal matter.
State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.
Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. 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 Oregon Public Health, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For more information, contact the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program at 971-673-0400 or www.healthoregon.org/beach; also contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 1-877-290-6767.