BEACH ADVISORY: Only Golden Rock Beach Near Mill Harbour Consider Unsafe For Swimming Or Fishing
CHRISTIANSTED – Only one beach in St. Croix – near Mill Harbour Condominiums – has been deemed unfit for swimming or fishing by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) in its weekly beach advisory.
But DPNR admits that beaches on the other Virgin Islands were not tested at all due to heavy rainfall amounts.
“Beaches on St. Thomas and St. John were not sampled this week due to heavy rains this week, and DPNR anticipates that negative environmental impacts will be caused by storm-water runoff,” the agency said in a statement. “DPNR advises the public to use caution when using the coastal waters on St. Thomas until further notification.”
DPNR’s Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program evaluates weekly water quality at popular swimming beaches throughout the territory by sampling for Enterococci bacteria and turbidity, which is a measure of water clarity.
DPNR performed water quality analysis at 17 designated beaches throughout the territory during the week of December 14-18, 2015.
The following beaches meet water quality standards and are safe for swimming or fishing:
Hull Bay; Sapphire; Vessup Bay; Magen’s Bay; Secret Harbor; Bluebeards; Brewer’s Bay; Lindbergh Bay; Frenchman’s Bay; Bolongo Bay; Coki Point Water Bay; Linquist Bay; Limetree Bay; Morningstar
Cruz Bay; Oppenhiemer; Great Cruz Bay; Frank Bay and Johnson Bay.
Stoney Ground; Protestant Cay;Buccaneer; Cramer Park; Halfpenny Beach; New Fort (Ft. Louise Augusta); Frederiksted Public Beach; Pelican Cove (Cormorant); Shoys; Rainbow; Cane Bay; Chenay Bay; Gentle Winds; Princess (Condo Row) B – Breezez and Grapetree Bay.
“DPNR is also advising parents to instruct their children to keep away from storm water-impacted beaches as well as areas with manholes and storm water flooding,” the agency said. “There may be an elevated health risk to anyone swimming in storm water-impacted areas as a result of increased concentrations of bacteria.”
If the waters appear muddy or murky or have foul odors, do not swim or fish. For additional information regarding water quality call the Division of Environmental Protection at 340-773-1082 in St. Croix.
“High levels of Enterococci bacteria and turbidity may be caused by runoff due to heavy rains, heavy marine vessel traffic, high wave activity near the shoreline, irresponsible recreational use, etc. runoff can consist of sediment, pesticides, animal feces and oil & grease, all of which are harmful to the waters of the territory,” the agency said.