July 31, 2009
Contaminated beaches can cause a wide range of conditions in swimmers such as dysentery, pinkeye, skin, nose, and ear infections, and hepatitis. Nancy Stoner, Water Program Co-director at the NRDC, further explains, “Pollution from dirty stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continues to make its way to our beaches. This not only makes swimmers sick – it hurts coastal economies,” adding, “Americans should not suffer the consequences of contaminated beachwater.
The report, for the first time in its 19 years of publication, cited climate change as a contributing factor in beachwater quality. Increases in temperature allow for more growth of pathogens which led to gastrointestinal conditions and neurological problems. Changes and intensification of storms will also cause more severe run-off and sewage issues.