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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

News & Events


Beach Advisory Lifted on St. Simons Island South Beach

Updated September 23, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for South Beach at the Lighthouse, which extends from 9th Street to the Pier on St. Simons Island.

The advisory was issued on September 21, 2021, after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

Subsequent water samples show the bacteria level has dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.


September 21, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a beach water advisory for South Beach at the Lighthouse, which extends from 9th Street to the Pier on St. Simons Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The advisory is only for the area specified above and does not impact other beach areas on the island. There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness. However, beach water advisories are to alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact. An area under advisory does not mean the beach is closed.

Water samples are collected routinely on Georgia’s islands throughout the year. The samples are tested for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste. When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from this area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

The area will be re-tested this week, and the advisory will be lifted when tests show the bacteria levels meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing Program page.

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