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Seasonal Beach Monitoring for Contaminants Begins on Oregon Coast

Published 6/03/24 at 6:45 a.m.
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Oregon Coast) – Oregon officials have kicked off the Oregon Beach Monitoring PROGRAM (OBMP) last month, where experts from Oregon Health Authority (OHA) keep an eye on coastal beaches for bacteria and early fall. The OBMP got started late in May, and within a week there was already a beach advisory for Cannon Beach's Tolovana Beach, where elevated levels of fecal bacteria were found in the waters.

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That has since been found at safe levels again and it's once more OK to wade in Tolovana's waters.

Every year, from May through September, public health officials test a variety of local beaches for issues like fecal bacteria. Their list is usually set by the time the season begins, going by which beaches are most visited and where the public or other agencies have advised there should be testing and monitoring.

“It also includes beaches where the program has found bacteria present,” OHA said in a release.

The beaches OBMP is keeping an eye on this year include certain areas in Seaside, Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Oceanside, Pacific City, Neskowin, Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, Seal Rock, near Florence, Coos Bay, Port Orford and Brookings.

Seaside Beach – Seaside, Clatsop County
Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, Clatsop County
Tolovana Beach State Park– Cannon Beach, Clatsop County
Short Sand Beach (Oswald West State Park) – Arch Cape, Tillamook County
Manzanita Beach – Manzanita, Tillamook County
Rockaway Beach – Rockaway, Tillamook County
Twin Rocks Beach – Twin Rocks, Tillamook County
Oceanside Beach – Oceanside, Tillamook County
Cape Kiwanda Beach – Pacific City, Tillamook County
Neskowin Beach – Neskowin, Tillamook County
D River Beach – Lincoln City, Lincoln County
Siletz Bay Beach – Lincoln City, Lincoln County
Beverly Beach – Newport, Lincoln County
Agate Beach – Newport, Lincoln County
Nye Beach – Newport, Lincoln County
Ona Beach (Brian Booth-Beaver Creek State Park) – Seal Rock, Lincoln County
Seal Rock Beach – Seal Rock, Lincoln County
Heceta Beach – Florence, Lane County
Bastendorff Beach – Coos Bay, Coos County
Sunset Bay State Park Beach – Coos Bay, Coos County
Hubbard Creek Beach – Port Orford, Curry County
Harris Beach State Park – Brookings, Curry County
Mill Beach – Brookings, Curry County
Crissey Fields State Recreation Site – Brookings, Curry County

“Other beaches will be investigated for inclusion in the next beach monitoring season,” OHA said.


Only beaches that are getting actively monitored will receive health advisories if tests come up positive – those that are on the list.

Sample testing of beaches are continuously re-evaluated to be certain they are accurate and best protect the public's health. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request.

“OBMP works with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to identify beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria,” OHA said. “These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input.”

For more information and current beach monitoring conditions please visit: www.healthoregon.org/beach, or contact OBMP at Beach.Health@odhsoha.oregon.gov or 971-673-0400.

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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.

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