Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

One 'Crappy' Report: Oregon Coast Beaches May Have Poo Issues

Published 07/16/23 at 4:51 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

One 'Crappy' Report on Oregon Coast Beaches and Frequency of Contaniments

(Oregon Coast) – Oregon's coastline may be among the poopiest in the nation, at least from one recent report by Environment America (EA) called “Safe for Swimming.” The group used data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, saying a high number of Oregon beaches tested came up with some amount of contamination on about one quarter of the days they were tested. (Above: Lincoln City, Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in winter
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for winter
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for winter
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for winter
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for winter
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for winter
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

17 out of the 21 beaches tested had fecal bacteria present that were potentially harmful, happening at least 25% or more of the testing days.

The study, however, does not necessarily click with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) numbers for beach advisories due to contamination. OHA tests some 80 beaches on the Oregon coast every three weeks from May through September and only issues a handful of advisories during that period.

The EA numbers studied all U.S. beaches using a variety of data sources, and it said some 55% of beaches around the entire country had at least one testing day when contamination was high enough to be worrisome.

That number rockets to 70% of beaches when you look at just the west coast, with California's lengthy coastline puffing up those numbers considerably. All numbers were from 2022.

However, Oregon coast strands appeared to have their own issues, as EA found some of the state's more polluted beaches tended to be at Rockaway Beach, Manzanita, Bastendorff near Coos Bay, and Harris Beach at Brookings.

Manzanita had the highest at 10 testing days and 9 of them coming up dirty: a 90% score.

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

Bastendorf Beach had 86% of its seven days rate unsafe, and Harris Beach State Park also clocked in at that number.

Seal Rock State Recreation Site saw 83% and Rockaway Beach was at 82%.

Also mentioned were Sunset Bay State Park, two areas of Cannon Beach, Nye Beach and the D River access at Lincoln City, though in the 70 – 60 percentile range. The latter three, however, tend to come up a more often than many others when OHA issues a beach advisory.

EA, like OHA when it delivers advisories, said the sources of such pollution incidents can come from septic or sewer systems, rain runoff or livestock upstream. The actual cause of advisories is never known as scientists cannot trace them back.

Cannon Beach has banned feeding gulls in at least one area, because mass flocks of them hovering over humans feeding them can contaminate streams. Most oceanfront lodgings on the Oregon coast urge you not to feed them because of the droppings they leave on the properties.

You can keep an eye on any possible advisories at the OHA testing page.


Sunset Bay, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more


More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Quiet Yet Hot Little U.S. Travel Destination: Rockaway Beach on N. Oregon Coast
Now, it's still seven miles of captivating beaches, often full of solitude

What Not to Do on Oregon Coast: Small Beaches During Big Tides, Video
Just about every year it happens somewhere along Oregon's coast. Weather, beach safety

Extremely Rare Fin Whale Strands on Oregon Coast: Attacked by Orcas, Stuck in...
Further updates on fin whale. Sciences

Ten Truly Fire Spring Break Stretches of Oregon Coast
Something different at Manzanita, Depoe Bay, Oceanside, Newport, Yachats, Florence, more

Romance of the South Oregon Coast: From Sand to Soaring Clifftops
The wooing and wowing at Bandon, Coos Bay, Gold Beach, Brookings, Reedsport. Travel tips

Oregon Coast Fin Whale Update: Sick, Weathered Orca Attack, Fishing Gear
A rare find, attacked by orcas, fishing gear, and very sick. Marine sciences

UPDATED: A Rare Stranding on Oregon Coast, Fin Whale Washes Up Near Seaside
About 40 feet, it washed up at Gearhart

April 2024 Partial Solar Eclipse Coming to Oregon Coast, Washington Coast
On April 8, between 11:20 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in and around 23 percent. Sciences

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted