Skagit County annual BEACH report

The Padilla Bay Foundation monitored Bay View State Park beach in Skagit County where water quality has been compromised 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.

Learn more about sample results.

Open sandy beach on a sunny day

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.

During the 2017 beach season, 62 public beaches on coastlines 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.

Skagit County saltwater swimming beach

The Padilla Bay Foundation sampled Bay View State Park beach weekly from May 22 through Sept. 1, 2017.

Bay View State Park beach

During the 2017 swim season, Bay View State Park beach had three sampling events with elevated bacteria results. On May 30, results were in the closure range which resulted in a swimming closure for the beach that ended on June 7, 2017. Sampling events on June 27 and July 11 also had results in the closure range, but subsequent sampling showed that bacteria levels had dropped into the safe swimming range. Bay View State Park met the swimming standard for all other periods sampled.

From 2011 through 2015, Bay View State Park beach exceeded the recreational swimming standards for bacteria. Between the 2105 and 2016 monitoring seasons, Skagit County Pollution Identification and Correction Program made an effort to find and fix sources of pollution in the town of Bay View. Water quality at Bay View State Park improved.

 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 35 and the statistical threshold value of enterococcus/100 mL is greater than or equal to 276. We issue a public swimming advisory when enterococcus levels reach 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 2017
Beach Geometric Mean Statistical Threshold Value
Bay View State Park 26 172