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BEACH annual report

During the 2016 beach season, 61 public beaches on marine waters were sampled for bacterial contamination from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Learn here if your local beach was clean during the last swimming season. This information helps health officials make swimming advisories. See our county-by-county reports.

For 2016, fewer than two swimming advisories or closures were issued at 92 percent of marine beaches.

Keeping beaches safe

The Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication & Health (BEACH) Program ensures that marine water is safe to swim and play in and informs the public if water doesn't meet swimming standards.

During the 2016 beach season, 61 public beaches were sampled from Memorial Day through Labor Day. High-use beaches were sampled weekly or biweekly for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness.

Since 2004, we have been working with local partners (counties, tribes, and volunteer groups) to monitor marine beaches in Puget Sound and on the Washington coast. The Makah Tribe has a beach sampling program. During 2016, they sampled five public beaches weekly throughout the year on the Makah reservation in Clallam County.

Water quality — beach by beach

Click on the county links below for more details on water quality at local swimming beaches:

Beach water quality summary 2016

In 2016, Washington state and the Makah Tribe sampled 66 beaches. The figure below shows that in 2016, 92.4 percent of beaches had fewer than two swimming advisories or closures. This year the percentage of beaches meeting the swimming criteria (passing) improved from 2015 and was above the yearly average (2004-2016) of 84.3 percent passing.