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Report: Coney Island Listed As One of NYC's Most Contaminated Beaches

by Gabrielle McGovern
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Coney Island

Gabrielle McGovern, WFUV

As New Yorkers head to the beaches for the Fourth of July weekend, they might want to be cautious before heading into the water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council recently released a report about the nation’s most contaminated beaches.

And it lists Coney Island as having the third most contaminated beach water in New York City. The report found that Coney Island’s water contains high amounts of bacteria, with 5-9 percent of the water samples taken there exceeding the safety threshold.

Johanna Dyer is an attorney for the NRDC's water program. She said the contamination actually comes from sewage overflow and storm-water.

“When storm water hits the streets, it rolls along the street, and it picks up everything in its path,” Dyer said. “And it’s not just the twigs and the branches and leaves that we might be thinking of. It actually picks up everything. And you can imagine in New York City, the amount of city grit and grime that it’s picking up along with human and animal waste, along with oil that’s on the ground, being picked up with the storm water and carried into the ocean.”

Other beaches that received poor quality results include Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn and Cedar Grove Beach in Staten Island. Dyer recommends beach goers check the city’s health department website about beach conditions and water advisories. Visitors can also sign up for free text alerts about beach advisories as part of the city health department's so-called "Know Before You Go" program. 

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