Planning a summer vacation at the beach just became easier for families with news that two Maryland vacation spots have been dubbed “superstar beaches” for their high water quality.
Point Lookout State Park and Assateague State Park were given the honors by the Natural Resources Defense Council in its new report, “Testing the Waters 2014.”
Neighboring Delware’s beaches rank first in the report, Maryland’s rank fourth and adjacent Virginia’s rank sixth on a list of 30 states where the beach water quality was tested for safety. Other states in the Top 5 rankings are New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (3) and North Carolina (5).
The rankings were based on lab work conducted by county and state agencies measuring the contaminates that make people sick. And other beaches didn’t fare so well in the report, which says: “The findings confirm that serious water pollution persists at many U.S. seashores, with massive stormwater runoff and sewage overflows historically being the largest known sources of the problem.”
Researchers measured bacterial levels that can indicate the possible presence of pathogens and viruses, Jay Apperson, Maryland Department of Environment, told WJZ TV.
Sandy Point State Beach also ranks high for good water quality, along with Mayo Beach.
Beach visitors can help keep water safe.
“Not change diapers near the water or introduce other potential sources of contamination,” Apperson told WJZ.
Maryland’s Department of Environment says the state’s biggest beach in Ocean City tests among the cleanest.