Green Guide

Group says NC beaches not cleanest in US

Posted June 27, 2012
Updated July 1, 2012

— North Carolina beaches aren't close to being among the nation's cleanest, an environmental group said in a report released Wednesday.

The Natural Resources Defense Council ranked 3,000 beach sites across the U.S., based on water quality and public notification of closings.

The 14 North Carolina beaches included in the "Testing the Waters 2012" report scored one to three stars on the group's five-star scale. The group noted that none of the beaches monitors water quality more than once a week – even though half of them haven't reported any problems in the last three years – and that advisories for swimming or fishing or closings aren't posted online or at the beaches.

The report found that there were 23,481 times last year when a beach was closed or had a health advisory, which was down 3 percent from 2010 but still the third-highest number in the past 22 years. More than two-thirds of closings and advisories were issued because bacteria levels in the water exceeded public health standards, but the portion of all monitoring samples that exceeded standards remained stable at 8 percent last year compared to 2010.

Twelve beaches nationwide received a five-star rating in the report. Beaches in Maryland and Delaware were the closest five-star beaches to North Carolina.


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  • common_sense_plz Jun 27, 2012

    I sure hope the state did not pay this group for their study.

    I am certain that the water (ocean H20) does have some bacteria in is the restroom for MILLIONS of fish, oh and humans from the months of May-Sept.

  • miseem Jun 27, 2012

    AS many people (and the article) mentioned, the ratings have very little to do with clean water. Several NC beaches have had not abnormal samples despite weekly testing over the last three years, according to the NRDC. No NC beaches published closings on a web site and did not test more than once a week. If you never, or very rarely, have a problem, a website posting may be nice but I don't see how it means the beach/water is not clean. Maybe if we tested daily and posted on a website saying the water was fine, we could get 5 stars too. In the mean time, may I suggest you ignore this "study".

  • lmbl Jun 27, 2012

    thank you Rush Limbaugh for appeasing all the neanderthals so that they feel better about themselves

  • mhh484 Jun 27, 2012

    Sorry folks, this group is not part of some vast leftist environmental conspiracy. Nice try though.

    However, this article and it's title are pretty misleading. These ratings are based off of a several factors, only one of which is actual scientific data. The ratings also take into account how often the water is tested and how various beaches warn the public of any closings.

    Most of the NC beaches seem to be in great shape in regards to the actual water sampling data. It's the other categories where the NC beaches seem to fall short.

  • Cricket at the lake Jun 27, 2012

    This is the biggest load of baloney I have ever heard, can't believe it is even being published by WRAL, why slander the beaches in your own state?! What is this environmental group's true agenda? MD and DE beaches cleaner than NC, ridiculous - look how the Gulf Stream runs. Let's see some scientific data, please. But liberal enviros don't care much for scientific data that can be duplicated again. So true FatCat, they are horrible - stay away!

  • FatCat Jun 27, 2012

    That's right - NC beaches are dirty, they stink, and all ya'll should stay away. (nod - nod, wink - wink). I'll go and keep watch on them so you don't have to. All ya'll from W. 42nd St. NY NY don't have to bother. Go to your nice clean MD and DE beaches. :)

  • silvfx Jun 27, 2012

    wow such hate, you attack a group that advocates for natural resources, yeah lets not have clean water and trees, lets not have animal species that thrive and add to this planet. Lets only worry about ourselves and how we destroy all habitats and resources.

  • Bill Brasky Jun 27, 2012

    Check out their website...the "donate" button is the largest item on on the site...typical liberal, enlightened, Subaru driving, stay off the beach, tree huggers that want humans to GO AWAY....!!!

    If they want clean beaches...Wouldn't that make them conservatives?

  • SmokeWagon Jun 27, 2012

    .."The Natural Resources Defense Council.."

    Check out their website...the "donate" button is the largest item on on the site...typical liberal, enlightened, Subaru driving, stay off the beach, tree huggers that want humans to GO AWAY....!!!

  • The Fox Jun 27, 2012

    [Why don't you people read the study before making comments? They only rated the COASTAL beaches, not the lakes. Make informed comments please or don't make any at all.]Well that takes all the fun out of posting.