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DPNR Beach Advisory: One Beach On St. Croix Is Not Safe For Swimming Or Fishing

dorsch-beach

DORSCH BEACH in Frederiksted

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

DPNR said that Dorsch Beach in Frederiksted is not fit for swimming or fishing after testing of 32 beaches in the territory from November 14 to 18 revealed that it does not meet established water quality standards.

The agency said the beach does “not meet water quality standards because they exceed the established Enterococci Bacteria threshold and therefore are 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.

The agency also said that it was not able to sample the ocean near Princess Condo Row “due to a lack of access.”

“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 more information regarding water quality please 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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