Sept. 21, 2004 – In the immediate aftermath of Tropical Storm Jeanne only five of 17 St. Croix beaches tested for water quality were deemed safe for swimming. That has turned around this week as only Princess Beach on St. Croix failed to meet water quality standards set by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Protection.
On St. Thomas and St. John, the division only found three beaches not meeting water quality standards. They are Hull Bay Beach, Morningstar Beach and Hart Bay Beaches.
In a press release on Sept. 21, Dean C. Plaskett, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, outlined the continuing efforts of the division to monitor water quality.
He said water quality analysis around the islands of St. Thomas and St. John on Sept. 20, showed the following beaches are safe for swimming: Lindbergh Bay Beach, Water Bay, John Brewers Bay Beach, Sapphire Beach, Coki Point Beach, Vessup Beach, Magens Bay Beach (west end only), Bluebeard's, Secret Harbor, Bolongo Bay, Limetree Beach, Frenchman's Bay Beach, Cruz Bay, Oppenheimer, Francis Bay Beach, Klain Bay Beach, Chocolate Hole, and Frank Bay Beach.
DPNR-DEP also performed water quality analysis around the island of St, Croix on the same day. The following beaches there were found safe for swimming: Frederiksted Beach, Altona Lagoon Beach, Condo Row (Mill Harbor) Beach, Cormorant Beach, Columbus Landing Beach, Gentle Winds Beach, Cane Bay Beach, Carambola Beach, Protestant Cay Beach, Chenay Bay Beach, Dorsch Beach, Ha'penny Beach, Divi Beach, Cramers Park Beach, Duggan's Reef, Shoy's Beach, Buccaneer Beach, Little Bay Beach, and Rainbow Beach.
DPNR cautioned in the press release that the public refrain from using the waters in the beaches that do not meet water quality standards. This includes activities such as fishing and bathing. DPNR is also advising parents to instruct their children to keep away from areas where there has been manholes overflowing or storm water flooding,
There may be an elevated health risk to anyone swimming in these areas as a result of an increased concentration of bacteria.
DPNR will continue to monitor the waters. For additional information regarding water quality call 773-1082 in St. Croix and 774-3320 in St, Thomas.
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