15 Jersey Shore beaches under swimming advisory due to bacteria

     Waves breaking along a Jersey Shore beach. (Image: Justin Auciello/for WHYY)

    Waves breaking along a Jersey Shore beach. (Image: Justin Auciello/for WHYY)

    Wednesday update: After 15 beaches were under swimming advisories yesterday due to unacceptable bacterial counts, only 2 remain under that status today: Brown and York avenues in Spring Lake. The Highlands Recreation Center beach in Highlands is closed.

    15 beaches at the Jersey Shore are under swimming advisories issued Tuesday. 

    According to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s njbeaches.org, the advisory covers two beaches in Ocean County and 13 in Monmouth County due to water samples exceeding a quality standard.

    The standard for the acceptable level of enterococcus, a bacteria found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals that can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis, is 104 colonies per 100 ml of water.

    The swimming advisories are at the following beaches:

    7th and 3rd avenues in Asbury Park
    Sylvania Avenue in Avon-by-the-Sea
    Ocean Park in Bradley Beach
    Philips Avenue in Deal
    Highlands Recreation Center and Miller Beach in Highlands (bay beaches)
    Atlantic Avenue and North Bath in Long Branch
    Spray Avenue in Neptune
    Beacon Boulevard in Sea Girt
    Essex and Washington avenues in Spring Lake.
    Windward Beach in Brick (river)
    Shelter Cove in Toms River (bay)

    All bacteria levels were above the maximum bacteria standard when tested Tuesday morning. None of the beaches are closed. 

    Some waterways are typically susceptible to higher bacteria levels after rainfall and associated storm runoff. Heavy rain moved through the Jersey Shore Monday evening. 

    Onshore flow, which has occurred in recent days, also pushes in offshore water and keeps near-shore water from flowing adequately out to sea.

    The state tests water quality at 35 bay and 180 ocean locations and issues advisories one day following an unacceptable bacteria level. Beaches are closed if two consecutive samples collected at a bathing beach exceed the state standard and remain in effect until subsequent sampling indicates bacteria levels are again below the standard, according to the DEP.

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