May 28, 2020
Update: The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station, Massengale Park Beach, and the 5th Street Crossover Beach on St. Simons Island.
The advisories were issued on May 27, 2020 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.
Subsequent water samples showed that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisories have been lifted.
May 27, 2020:
The Glynn County Health Department has issued beach water advisories for three beach locations on St. Simons Island. Advisories have been issued for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station, Massengale Park Beach, and the 5th Street Crossover Beach. These locations stretch from 10th Street on the north end of the island to 9th Street on the south end of the island.
To view a map of the advisory locations, visit gahealthybeaches.org.
The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples at Glynn County beaches throughout the year. The test screens for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria, which are found in humans and some wildlife. The testing program is not related to the capsized motor vehicle carrier in St. Simons Sound.
When a beach is under advisory, it means the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards. Periodic advisories are not unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.
The advisory does NOT mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the areas under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from the areas should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.
The areas will be re-tested this week, and the advisories will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information, visit our beach water testing page.