The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with marine water at Agate Beach and Seal Rock State Park Beach, both in Lincoln County. The health authority issued the advisories June 26 and 27 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.
Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.
State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect. Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.