Skagit County annual BEACH report

The Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve sampled Bay View State Park beach in Skagit County in the summer of 2020. Water quality has been compromised at this beach for several years.

From 2011 through 2015, the beach failed to meet recreational swimming standards. Skagit County has been able to find and fix sources of pollution to the bay, improving overall water quality.

Bay View State Park in Skagit County

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.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2020, we sampled 63 public high-use beaches statewide, either weekly or biweekly, for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness.

Skagit County saltwater swimming beach

We monitored Bay View State Park beach weekly from June 1 – Aug. 31, 2020:

Data summary: Bacteria results compared to standards

The chart below summarizes the bacteria levels at Skagit County beaches in relation to the EPA swimming standard or saltwater swimming criteria. Beaches are considered unsafe for swimming when the geometric mean of enterococcus/100 mL of water is greater than or equal to 30 and the statistical threshold value of enterococcus/100 mL is greater than or equal to 110. We issue a public swimming advisory when enterococcus levels exceed 104 per 100 mL of water.

Table: Calculated geometric mean and statistical threshold value at Bay View State Park beach (in enterococcus per 100 mL) for 2020.

Beach Geometric Mean Statistical Threshold Value
Bay View State Park 16 45