BEACH annual report

Our 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.

Health officials issued fewer than two swimming advisories or closures at 96 percent of the 67 marine beaches sampled for harmful bacteria through our BEACH program in 2018. This is a five percent improvement over the previous year.

You can look up your local beach and see how clean it was during 2018 with county-by-county links below. Also, you can compare 2018 to previous years and overall averages with our summary chart.


Keeping beaches safe

From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2018, our scientists and county and local BEACH partners sampled 62 public beaches on marine waters for bacterial contamination. We collected water samples from high-use beaches weekly or biweekly to test for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness. This information helps health officials issue swimming advisories.

Makah Tribe BEACH scientists sample five public beaches weekly throughout the year on the Makah reservation. Their data are included in our summary below under 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 2018

State, local, and tribal scientists sampled 67 beaches in 2018. As you can see in the chart below, 96 percent of beaches had fewer than two swimming advisories or closures this past year. The percentage of beaches meeting the swimming criteria increased by 5 percent from 2017.
Download data table: BEACH Annual Report Summary.