N.J. official: Beaches in great shape, water quality excellent

     Jimmie Reed (left) and Jimmy Duran stand in front of 26 Maplewood Mall, before it was transformed into a coffee shop, during happier times. (Neema Roshania/WHYY)

    Jimmie Reed (left) and Jimmy Duran stand in front of 26 Maplewood Mall, before it was transformed into a coffee shop, during happier times. (Neema Roshania/WHYY)

    It’s Memorial Day weekend, so the Jersey Shore is officially open for the summer season, and state officials say beach and bathing conditions are stellar.

    “The beaches are in great shape and our water quality is excellent,” state Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said this week at the 15th annual “State of the Shore” event in Long Branch.

    Speakers at the gathering, hosted the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, provide a status report on water quality, beaches, and other coastal issues.

    Martin said the ocean and bay water quality, with beaches open 99.9 percent of the time last season, is ranked among the nation’s leaders.

    “When people come to the Jersey Shore, catalyst for our state’s $42 billion tourism economy, they can be assured that every effort is being made to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable visit,” he said.

    During the summer season, the state routinely tests water quality at 180 ocean beaches and 35 bay and river beaches.

    The state also conducts coastal surveillance flights that operate six days per week from mid-May to mid-September, weather permitting, looking for issues such as excessive algae blooms or debris that might affect water quality.

    So far this year, sampling results show that New Jersey’s ocean water quality “is again outstanding,” Martin said.

    You can check water quality at your local beaches here.

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