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Community Center / Health / Virgin Islands / June 24, 2016

ST. THOMAS — The Department of Planning and Natural Resources said via press release today that all the territory’s beaches are safe for swimming and fishing this weekend, except Water Bay in St. Thomas.

The beaches were declared safe after passing the department’s water quality analysis, which includes sampling for enterococci bacteria and turbidity.

In St. Croix, the safe beaches are: Stoney Ground, Protestant Cay, Buccaneer, Cramer Park, New Fort (Ft. Louise Augusta), Dorsch, Frederiksted Public Beach, Pelican Cove (Comorant), Shoy’s, Rainbow, Cane Bay, Chenay Bay, Princess (Condo Row), A – Mill Harbour, Halfpenny, Princess (Condo Row) and B – Breezez Grapetree Bay.

In St. Thomas, they include: Lindquist, Coki Point, Vessup Bay, Brewer’s Bay, Bluebeards, Secret Harbor, Bolongo Bay, Sapphire, Frenchman’s Bay, Hull Bay, Lindbergh Bay and Magen’s Bay.

And in St. John, the safe beaches are: Oppenhiemer, Johnson Bay, Frank Bay, Cruz Bay and Great Cruz Bay.

High levels of enterococci bacteria and turbidity may be caused by runoff due to heavy rains, heavy marine vessel traffic, high wave activity near the shoreline, irresponsible recreational use, etc. Runoff can consist of sediment, pesticides, animal feces and oil & grease, all of which are harmful to the waters of the territory, says DPNR.

The department, led by Commissioner Dawn L. Henry, says it will continue to monitor these popular swimming areas. DPNR also recommends that residents use their discretion when swimming or fishing at the designated beaches. 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 773-1082 in St. Croix.

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