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June 14, 2018

Beaches throughout Cape May, Atlantic City issued advisory for feces-related bacteria contamination

There are now 47 beaches at the Jersey Shore with above-limit levels of Enterococci

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Carroll - 2018 New Jersey Shore Guide Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Atlantic City skyline is one of the visual treats seen from the Ventnor City Fishing Pier.

Last week 10 beaches at the Jersey Shore were reported to have above the minimum level of Enterococci bacteria, and now the contamination level has expanded to dozens of more areas, calling for water quality advisories at no less than 47 Jersey Shore beaches.

Enterococci is a bacteria often linked to human and animal feces that can lead to a number of unsavory symptoms for people who make contact with it, including vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and flu-like symptoms. The New Jersey Sanitary Code requires a maximum 104 colonies of the bacteria for every 100 milliliters. Now numerous beaches throughout Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean counties are exceeding that limit.

Why so much contamination? Officials say it's likely caused by the number of storms and rainfall so far this season, causing increased stormwater runoff.

For the time being, the following beaches in Atlantic City, VentnorMargate, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest and Cape May are among the shore towns where water quality advisories have been issued. 

Atlantic County

Atlantic City at Dover Avenue
 Atlantic City at Michigan Avenue
 Atlantic City at Texas Avenue
 Atlantic City at Chelsea Avenue
 Atlantic City at Missouri Avenue
 Atlantic City at Illinois Avenue
 Atlantic City at Bartram Avenue
 Atlantic City at Albany Ave Ocean Front Avenue
 Atlantic City at Kentucky Avenue
 Margate City at Clermont Avenue
 Margate City at Osborne Avenue
 Margate City at Gladstone Avenue
 Ventnor City at Dorset Avenue
 Ventnor City at Washington Avenue
 Ventnor City at Austin Avenue
 Ventnor City at New Haven Avenue

Cape May County

• Cape May City at Grant Street
 Cape May City at Philadelphia Avenue
 Cape May City at Queen Street
 Lower Township at Richmond Avenue
 Wildwood City at Montgomery Avenue
 Wildwood City at Bennett Avenue
 Wildwood Crest at Jefferson Avenue
 Wildwood Crest at Miami Avenue
 Wildwood Crest at Orchid Road
 Wildwood Crest at Hollywood Avenue
 Wildwood Crest at Forget Me Not Road
 Wildwood Crest at Lavender Road

Ocean County

 Brick Township at Windward Beach
 Pine Beach Borough at East Beach Station Avenue
 Point Pleasant Beach Borough at Maryland Avenue
 Seaside Park Borough at 5th Avenue Bay Front
 Toms River Township at Shelter Cove

Monmouth County

 Deal Borough at Hathaway Avenue Beach
 Deal Borough at Philips Avenue
 Deal Borough at Deal Casino
 Loch Arbour Village at Village Beach Club
 Long Branch City at Joline Avenue
 Long Branch City at Elberon Beach Club
 Long Branch City at South Bath Avenue
 Long Branch City at North Bath Avenue
 Long Branch City at Atlantic Avenue
 Long Branch City Ocean Beach Club
 Neptune Township at Broadway
 Sea Girt Borough at Neptune Place
 Spring Lake Borough at Brown Avenue South
 Spring Lake Borough at York Avenue

If the beaches turn out to have consecutive samples exceeding the bacteria standard, they could be closed entirely. Larry Hajna, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, told Patch the new levels of contamination are likely an offshoot of rain, saying, "Birds congregate a lot. When they defecate, it carries into the water."

Carry that lovely notion with you as you visit the shore this weekend, folks.

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