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These Long Island Beaches Are Tops In Clean Water Quality

Sunken Meadow Beach Photo Credit: Provided: Save the Sound
Seven beaches on Long Island were rated among New York's top 10 cleanest beaches during the past three years. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

Seven beaches on Long Island rank among the cleanest beaches in New York, according to a study of water quality for the past three years.

All of the best-ranked beaches, all in Suffolk County, received the highest average grades during wet and dry weather conditions from 2016 through 2018, according to this report by Save the Sound. The best beaches include:

Hobart Beach (Sand City) Inlet and Hobart Beach Bay, both in Northport; Port Jefferson Beaches, both West and East, in Brookhaven; Iron Pier Beach and Mattituck Breakwater Beach, both in Riverhead; and Belle Terre Beach in Brookhaven.

In Nassau County, these three beaches received the highest grades last year: The Creek Beach, Piping Rock Beach and Centre Island (Sound) Beach.

The report highlighted the “Top 20” beaches on Long Island Sound based on water quality, and, for the first time, presented comprehensive grades for 204 swimming beaches in New York and Connecticut. Orchard Beach in the Bronx and two  beaches in Westchester County rounded out New York's "Top 10."

High rainfall impacts water quality at beaches in a number of ways, including by diverting untreated sewage directly into the Sound in locations which use combined stormwater and sewer pipes, or those locations with decaying and damaged pipes. With increased rainfall levels leading to added beach closure days, even in the sunny days following heavy rain,

Tracy Brown, director of Save the Sound, said, “Long Island Sound beaches are an integral part of the lives of millions of beachgoers each year. We’re pleased to see so many beaches testing water quality regularly and offering public access for swimmers and beachgoers to enjoy the Sound safely."

Receiving the lowest water quality grades last year were: Crescent Beach in Nassau County and Valley Grove Beach and Knollwood Beach, both in Suffolk County.

Save the Sound’s Beach Report offers good news for swimmers and beachgoers, highlighting dozens of beaches on both sides of the Sound that consistently earn top grades for water quality. On average, Long Island Sound beaches met safe-swimming criteria more than 93 percent of the time in 2016 through 2018.

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