How healthy are beaches?

The state wants to know so it can test the water for pollution-caused bacteria that can make people sick.

Clallam County beaches proposed for testing are Cline Spit County Park, Jamestown Beach and Port Williams Boat Launch, Sequim, and Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles and Salt Creek Recreation Area County Park.

The state BEACH (Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication and Health) Program notifies the public when bacteria results are high and educates people about how they can avoid getting sick from playing in saltwater.

The program targets popular beaches near sources of pollution. The goals are to monitor for bacteria and, if found, correct the problems. This summer they will monitor 52 popular beaches.

Results are posted at

Jessica Archer, coordinator of the BEACH project advises people to scoop, bag and trash pets' poop; inspect and maintain your home septic system; pump your recreational boat holding tank into an authorized pump station; and pick up all of your trash at the beach, especially diapers.

The list of beaches the state proposes to monitor this summer is posted on the BEACH Program Web site

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