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UPDATE: N. Oregon Coast Ocean Advisory Lifted for Cannon Beach, Tolovana

Published 09/30/21 at 4:56 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

N. Oregon Coast Ocean Health Advisory Includes Cannon Beach, Tolovana

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – UPDATE: THE OCEAN HEALTH ADVISORY HAS BEEN LIFTED AS OF THURSDAY AFTERNOON ---- An extremely popular beach on the north Oregon coast is now under an ocean water health advisory. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) issued a public health advisory for unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in the whole of Cannon Beach's accesses and the Tolovana area, including Tolovana Beach State Recreation Site.

Visitors should avoid any direct contact with the water around any Cannon Beach access until the advisory is lifted. This includes the northern edges of town by Ecola Creek down to the areas surrounding Haystack Rock and southward of there, until the southern portions of Tolovana's accesses.

While this is an unusually large area for a water advisory - an entire town's beaches - it is for the ocean waters and beach streams only. Beaches and sandy areas are safe and to explore and walk on.

“Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses,” OHA said. “Children, elderly and those with a compromised immune system should use extra caution as they are more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria.”

Visitors to the Oregon coast town should not go wading in nearby creeks or in any pools of water on the beach. Stay out of discolored water of any kind, and keep clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. OHA said levels of fecal bacteria tend to be higher in these types of water sources.

Unsafe levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources including:

Stormwater runoff.
Sewer overflows.
Failing septic systems.
Animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

Even if there is no advisory in effect, avoid swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Ocean waters will be re-tested after an advisory is issued. Once bacteria levels are at a safe level, OHA will notify the public that the advisory is lifted. Normally, it takes about 24 hours for test results to come back.

While this advisory is in effect at Cannon Beach and Tolovana State Park, state officials continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory.

For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

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