Beach, water quality get high marks

Hilton Head
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The water at beaches Hilton Head and Daufuskie island beaches received clean marks on a recent national review of beach and water quality. The two islands fared better than the state overall and beat the national average on water quality.

Hilton Head and Daufuskie beaches never exceeded the daily maximum bacterial standards during the period they were monitored, according to the report, “Testing the Waters,” released by the National Resources Defense Council.

Other areas looked much worse: Myrtle Beach exceeded the standard by 15 percent, Surfside Beach by 12 percent, and Briarclife Acres Beach by 10 percent.
Fripp Island in northern Beaufort County and Tybee Island in Georgia also never exceeded the acceptable bacteria levels.

The 180 miles of beach in the state overall exceeded the bacteria levels by 8 percent, worse than neighboring North Carolina and Georgia; both only exceeded the limit by 2 percent. South Carolina beaches were more polluted than the national average, which only exceeded the bacterial limit by 7 percent. Beaches in Delaware, New Hampshire and Virginia tied for the cleanest in the country, followed by Alaska, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland and Hawaii. Louisiana has the dirtiest beach waters, according to the report.

The council said the report on water cleanliness helps beachgoers guard against waterborne illnesses and brings community attention to issues of pollution and runof that afect their water quality.

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