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Latest Oregon Coast: Water Warning, Trail Closure, Clamming

Published 08/08/2018 at 5:51 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Latest Oregon Coast: Water Warning, Trail Closure, Clamming

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(Newport, Oregon) – A diverse set of closures and re-openings along the Oregon coast, which affect razor clamming, the Saddle Mountain Trail near Seaside and water quality at Seal Rock. (Above: Seal Rock).

A public health advisory was issued Tuesday for Seal Rock State Park Beach on the central Oregon coast, after testing for fecal bacteria showed levels that were higher than normal.

These kinds of bacteria can cause health issues if you come in contact with the ocean water, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) advises beachgoers to avoid such contact in the area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

The actual source of these elevated levels is almost never known, but bacteria and other pathogen can rise in ocean waters due to shore and inland events such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Seal Rock State Park Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean.

State officials maintain all other activities on the beach are OK, such as kite flying, picnicking or simply strolling on the beach.

Nearby beaches of Lincoln County are not affected.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

When it comes to razor clamming, there is good news on the southern Oregon coast. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced that razor clamming is now open from Tillamook Head to the south jetty of the Coquille River. Parts of it had been closed due to domoic acid levels in the meat of the creature.

Recreational razor clamming remains closed from the south jetty of the Coquille River to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid toxin, however. Recreational razor clamming is also closed from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head (Seaside to Warrenton) for ODFW's annual razor clam conservation closure. This closure is not related to biotoxins and does not affect razor clam populations south of Tillamook Head. The conservation closure is in effect from July 15 to Sept. 30 each year.

More tests will continue every other week on the Oregon coast to determine safety.

On the north Oregon coast, the main trail to the summit at Saddle Mountain State Natural Area in the northern Coast Range is closed due to a bridge collapse. Park staff will remove the bridge and prepare a new crossing.

State officials said that staff are hoping to have the trail open again by August 10. The rest of the park, including the Humbug Mountain Viewpoint Trail, is open. Visit oregonstateparks.org for updates. Oregon Coast Lodgings in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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