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DPNR Beach Advisory: Chenay Bay Beach On St. Croix’s East End Is Not Safe


DPNR SAYS NOT SAFE: Chenay Bay in St. Croix

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 Chenay Bay Beach on the East End of St. Croix is not fit for swimming or fishing after testing of 21 beaches in St. Croix and St. John from November 28 to December 2 revealed that it was the lone Virgin Islands beach that did not meet established water quality standards.

“Due to heavy rains throughout the beginning of the week, the Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not sample St. Thomas beaches,” DPNR said, in a statement released by spokesman Jamal Nielsen.

The agency said that Chenay Bay 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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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