The NJ DEP in cooperation with local county health departments manages the Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program. From mid-May to mid-September, recreational beach water quality at 217 beaches including 180 ocean and other bay monitoring stations is monitored each week. Water samples are collected every Monday, and tested for the presence and abundance of Entercoccus. DEP posts the results of these tests to the CCMP website every Tuesday and in turn COA posts the results to Facebook.
Since the July update, COA has been compiling the CCMP water quality data to track down the frequencies of closures and advisories and is evaluating the difference between mild and severe rainfall events and its effects on the bacteria levels in the water. Highlights as of mid-August:
· - 67 beach advisories and 33 closures in total
· - the week of July 24 had the maximum number of advisories and closings thus far—a total of 31 advisories and 15 closures. The cause? A major rain event just prior to the sampling pounded the coast with 1.6 inches of rain in 48 hours.
COA will continue to evaluate the data for the remainder of the monitoring season and inform the public through weekly social media posts. More information can be found at njbeaches.org.