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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center
DATE: June 27, 2013
Jim Martin, NHDES, 603 271-3710

Two Years Running: Two New Hampshire Beaches rated top in the nation by NRDC
Coastal Beaches rated second Cleanest Beaches in Nation again

Concord, NH - The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) rated Hampton Beach State Park and Wallis Sands Beach five star beaches and called New Hampshire coastal beaches second cleanest in the nation. The NRDC published its 23rd Annual "beachwater quality report" analyzing beach data reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by coastal and Great Lakes states. The NRDC report rates the 200 most popular beaches nationally on a five star scale with only 13 beaches receiving all five stars.

Only one percent of 1,006 samples collected at coastal NH beaches during 2012 exceeded the state standard of 104 counts of Enterococci/100 ml of water. New Hampshire ranks second among the 30 states that are part of the EPA's beach monitoring program, behind Delaware. Less than five percent of water samples and Hampton Beach and Wallis Sands Beach exceed national standards since 2010. Of the 16 New Hampshire beaches sampled in 2012, 10 did not have any elevated bacteria results at all.

Across America, there were 20,000 beach closings and advisories in 2012. Of these closings and advisories 80 percent were issued because bacteria levels in the water violated public health standards. These findings proved serious water pollution still continues on many US beaches. It is increasingly important to protect New Hampshire beaches.

New Hampshire residents can be proud of our coastal water quality and strive to maintain these levels. Everyone can take simple steps to prevent beach pollution in all locations. Picking up pet waste, maintaining septic systems, putting swim diapers with plastic covers on babies and keeping trash off the beach can help keep our waters clean. Collaboratively we can keep New Hampshire beaches five-star.

The NHDES Beach Inspection Program monitors the water at New Hampshire public swimming beaches from late May until early September. Personnel collect water for analysis at coastal and freshwater beaches. The water samples are analyzed for fecal bacteria to protect public health. For more information visit the programs website: Also updates on current beach advisories and warnings can be found on the DES website, under the Alerts button. Residents can also sign up to receive notifications about beach advisories at the DES ENews subscription service,, or by following the NHDES Beaches Twitter feed at:

To review the NRDC report, visit:

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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