For the fourth straight year, Delaware lays claim to the country’s cleanest beach water.
The National Resources Defense Council is a non-partisan, international environmental advocacy group. The NRDC assesses all beaches in the 30 coastal states each year, and once again, Delaware’s beaches topped the nation for cleanliness.
“Our position atop these rankings for four straight years is a testament to our commitment to invest in nourishing our ocean beaches and keeping their water clean,” said Gov. Jack Markell.
The NRDC based its latest rankings on new and more stringent water quality parameters from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“As a native Delawarean, it’s great to see our beaches once again rated the best in the U.S. for water quality,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “With the Fourth of July fast approaching, and families heading to the beach, it’s important to know the water quality on our Delaware beaches is clean and safe.”
In its report, the group also recognized Delaware’s water-quality testing program as one of the most comprehensive in the nation.
“Clean water and conservation are a priority in Delaware,” said Sen. Tom Carper. “Those efforts, combined with infrastructure projects and beach and dune replenishment, have helped make our coastline a great tourist destination in America and a strong part of Delaware’s economy.”
The state’s Recreational Water Quality Testing Program conducts beach monitoring, frequently sampling water quality, coastal hazards and other public health and safety concerns from Slaughter Beach to the Delaware/Maryland line.
“Delaware has a well-deserved reputation for having some of the best beaches in the country,” Rep. John Carney said. “The investments made by the state and federal government to preserve our coastline and maintain clean beach water are paying off.”
Among Delaware’s distinguished beaches, Dewey’s Swedes Beach was awarded the NRDC’s prized 5-star rating as a “Superstar Beach” for having perfect swimming water quality since 2009. This year, the NRDC designated 35 such beaches from among the coastal states.
“In Delaware, we know that protecting our beautiful coastline isn’t just important to summer fun, but to our local economy, too,” Sen. Chris Coons said.
Delaware attracts more than seven million visitors each year. According to a recent University of Delaware report on the beaches’ economic impact statewide, the coastal industry generates almost $7 billion annually, provides over $700 million in tax revenue and supports 60,000 jobs.
“By continuing to steward our treasured natural resources – our pristine beaches prominent among them – we can protect and enhance this economic and environmental advantage for years to come,” said new DNREC Secretary David Small.