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2 Beaches To Avoid This Weekend, While 7 Beaches Were Not Tested: DPNR

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Two beaches on two islands failed water quality resting and should be avoided this weekend,

Water Bay on St. Thomas and Cruz Bay on St. John exceeded “the established Enterococci Bacteria threshold and therefore are not considered to be safe for swimming or fishing,” DPNR said today.

Seven beaches on three islands were not tested this week, according to DPNR.

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program evaluates water quality at popular swimming beaches throughout the territory every week by sampling for Enterococci, Bacteria and Turbidity, which is a measure of water clarity.

DPNR performed water quality analysis at 30 designated beaches throughout the territory during the week of August 30 – September 3, 2021. The following beaches meet water quality standards and are considered safe for swimming and fishing:

2 Beaches To Avoid This Weekend, While 7 Beaches Were Not Tested: DPNR

On St. John, Great Cruz Bay and Frank Bay are considered safe for swimming and fishing.

Please note: Samples were not collected at the following beaches:
• Pelican Cove, Columbus Landing and Princess (Condo Row) on St. Croix
• Bluebeards Beach on St. Thomas
• Honeymoon Beach on Water Island
• Oppenheimer and Johnson Bay on St. Thomas.

Therefore, the water quality at these beaches is unknown.

All persons should be aware that storm water runoff may also contain contaminants or pollutants harmful to human health, and therefore should avoid areas of storm water runoff (i.e. guts, puddles, and drainage basins) or any area that appears discolored or has foul odors.

DPNR will continue to monitor impacted areas and waters.

For additional information regarding water quality call the Division of Environmental Protection at 773-1082 on St. Croix or 774-3320 on St. Thomas.

By 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everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling.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.