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DPNR: Rainbow Beach in St. Croix Is Not Safe For Swimming Or Fishing

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NOT SAFE: Rainbow Beach in Frederiksted

FREDERIKSTED – In its weekly beach advisory the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) said one beach on St. Croix is not safe for swimming or fishing.

DPNR said that Rainbow Beach on the West End of Frederiksted is not fit for swimming or fishing after testing of 32 beaches in the territory from October 10 to 14 revealed that they do not meet established water quality standards.

The agency said the beach does not meet water quality standards because it exceeds the established Enterococci Bacteria threshold and therefore is “not considered to be safe for swimming or fishing.”

Enterococci are potentially-infectious bacteria common in the feces of warm-blooded animals, including humans. In 1986, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended using enterococci in place of fecal coliform bacteria as the preferred indicator of fecal pollution and health risk in marine water.

In all, DPNR performed water quality analysis at 38 designated beaches throughout the territory.

 The following beaches do meet water quality standards and ARE safe for swimming or fishing:

St. Croix

Protestant Cay, Buccaneer, Cramer’s Park, Pelican Cove (Cormorant), Shoy’s, Chenay Bay, New Fort (Ft. Louise Augusta), Halfpenny, Dorsch, Grapetree Bay, Cane Bay, Princess (Condo Row), Stoney Ground, Frederiksted Public Beach

St. Thomas                 

Lindquist, Coki Point, Bluebeards, Secret Harbor, Bolongo Bay, Frenchman’s Bay, Sapphire, Hull Bay, Magen’s Bay, Lindbergh Bay, Brewer’s Bay, Vessup Bay, Water Bay

St. John

Johnson Bay, Cruz Bay, Oppenheimer, Great Cruz 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.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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