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Stay Out of Water at Short Sand Beach: N. Oregon Coast Health Advisory

Published 09/04/2019 at 3:43 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Stay Out of Water at Short Sand Beach: N. Oregon Coast Health Advisory

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – One of the Oregon coast’s biggest attractions for visitors and surfers is now under a public health advisory to stay out of the water. Short Sand Beach at Manzanita's Oswald West State Park was issued the warning on Wednesday by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) because of higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in the ocean waters.

This is the time of year that waters are at their warmest and the beach sees perhaps hundreds of surfers each day.

Now, that form of recreation and any kind of wading in the water is off limits, according to OHA.

“People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted,” the OHA said. “Higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to illness from waterborne bacteria.”

Exact sources are almost never known, and OHA said it can come from both shore and inland sources such as sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, failing septic systems, and waste from animals like livestock or nearby wildlife. Extremely large congregations of gulls can cause increased pathogen and bacteria levels as well.

This advisory is for Short Sand Beach only and does not affect any other nearby beaches, such as those at Arch Cape or at Manzanita. In fact, Short Sand is an extremely isolated cove.

However, OHA said you should still stay out of creeks that drain into the beach or are on the beach itself – there are a few on the pathway to the north Oregon coast hotspot. Avoid wading in pools of water on the beach or in any discolored water.

Even if there is no advisory in effect, Oregon officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Even though they are urging the public to stay out of the waters, any other activity on the beach is safe, such as kite-flying, hiking through the area, picnicking, etc.

Testing continues on the beach, and these warnings usually only last a day to several days before before rescinded.

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 at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Meanwhile, for nearby beaches not in the warning see the Manzanita Virtual Tour and the Cannon Beach Virtual Tour. More on Short Sand below:

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