Escambia County wins another title. Bayou Chico ranks as one of the most contaminated bayous in the state of Florida, according to National Resource Defense Council. It had 62 percent of its samples exceeding contamination standards. Bayou Chico had 119 closing or advisory days.
Other beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates in 2010 were Hagen’s Cove (47%) in Taylor County, Garniers (42%) in Okaloosa County, Bayview Park (38%) and Navy Point (Bayou Grande) (38%) in Escambia County.
NRDC’s annual survey of water quality and public notification at U.S. beaches finds that the number of beach closings and advisories in 2010 reached 24,091 — the second-highest level since NRDC began tracking these events 21 years ago, confirming that our nation’s beaches continue to suffer from bacterial pollution that puts swimmers at risk.
Testing the Waters focuses primarily on bacteria-related beach water quality concerns. This year and last year, the report also highlighted closures, advisories, and notices issued at beaches impacted by last summer’s BP oil disaster. From the beginning of the spill until June 15, 2011 there have been a total of 9,474 days of oil-related beach notices, advisories and closures at Gulf Coast beaches due to the spill.