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New Record For Bacteria Warnings At Maine, New Hampshire Beaches - ENN

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:19 PM
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New Record For Bacteria Warnings At Maine, New Hampshire Beaches - ENN
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. This summer has seen a record number of warnings about bacteria at coastal beaches in New Hampshire and Maine. "The record was maybe three postings in a year. This year, we've already had six postings," said Jody Connor of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. He says heavy rains this year are likely to blame for the high bacteria levels.

Maine officials as of late July had issued more beach closures and advisories than they had for all of last summer. There were high bacteria counts at several southern Maine beaches even though the area did not get significant rainfall.

Environmental officials say unusually high tides that flush pollutants from salt marshes may explain why many beaches in Maine and other New England states were posted with health advisories or closed last month.

The so-called spring tides that occur during a full or new moon are known to wash pollutants from salt marshes into the surf zones of beaches, said Matthew Liebman, a biologist with the Environmental Protection Agency's New England office. In New Hampshire, the six warnings applied to only 15 saltwater beaches which are tested about twice a week.

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