Most of the territory’s beaches are safe for swimming and fishing this weekend, with two being marked as unsafe and six not tested, according to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (D.P.N.R.).
Bolongo Bay on St. Thomas and Great Cruz Bay on St. John were deemed unsafe because they exceeded the established enterococci bacteria established as safe, according to D.P.N.R.
Columbus Landing, Stoney Ground, Princess Condo Row and Grapetree Bay on St. Croix; Frenchman’s Bay on St. Thomas and Johnson Bay on St. John were not tested, according to D.P.N.R.
All other beaches were safe for swimming and fishing. They include the following:
St. Croix: Cramer’s Park, Shoy’s, New Fort (Ft. Louise Augusta), Buccaneer, Chenay Bay, Halfpenny, Dorsch, Frederiksted Public Beach, Cane Bay, Pelican Cove (Comorant), Rainbow, Protestant Cay and Sprat Hall.
St. Thomas: Lindquist, Magen’s Bay, Secret Harbor, Lindbergh Bay, Brewer’s Bay, Hull Bay , Vessup Bay, Bluebeards, Coki Point, Water Bay and Sapphire.
St. John: Frank Bay, Cruz Bay and Oppenheimer.
D.P.N.R. said 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.
The agency says it will continue to monitor these popular swimming areas. D.P.N.R. also recommends that beachgoers use their own 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 on St. Croix.