NRDC sues EPA, says water in most beaches dirtier than it should be by Mitch E. Perry

05/24/06

Two beaches in Florida have made the top ten list of best beaches in the country.

That’s according to Doctor Stephen Leatherman , the director of Florida International University's Laboratory for Coastal Research. He ranks Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin as second best in the country, and Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs is number ten.

The self proclaimed beach expert better known as Doctor Beach has been compiling an annual report of the top ten beaches since 1991. He evaluates beaches on fifty criteria, ranging from the quality of water and sand to the facilities and management.

Meanwhile the Natural Resources Defense Council announced today that they will sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to protect beachgoers from waterborne diseases. Nancy Stoner is the director of the NRDC’s Clean Water Project. (roll tape#1 o.q.�not fun�)

The environmental group has published a guide to beach water quality every summer for the past 15 years. That report, “Testing the waters� lists every coastal state’s quality of water. That new report comes out later this summer.

Erin Colangelo is also with the NRDC. He said that Congress has failed to adequately fund the Congressional Beach Act of 2000. (roll tape#2 o.q.�weakened immune systems�)

Dr. Joan Rose is a microbiologist with the University of Michigan State. She says the problem with contaminated waters at our beaches has gotten worse over time (roll tape# 3 o.q.�pathogens of concern�)

Dr. Jeffrey Griffiths from Tufts University listed ways one can to protect themselves and family members at the beach (roll tape#4 o.q.’for everybody else�)

Nancy Stoner from the NRDC’s Clean Water Project says that for those who live in urban areas, it is not wise to go into the beach after a heavy rainstorm.(roll tape# 5 o.q.�in the hospital�)

And Stoner’s last comment summarizes the general attitude of those participating in the national conference call (roll tape#6 o.q.�worse, in the hospital�)

The announcement by the NRDC of their lawsuit does not mean that they have actually filed legal briefs. Federal law says that the EPA must be given 60 days notice, in order to give the agency time to come into compliance.

Although the latest report is not out yet, to review the NRDC’s report on beaches in Florida from 2005, you can go to nrdc.org

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