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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: June 28, 2012
CONTACT: Jim Martin, NHDES, 603 271-3710
Amy Bassett, NH Parks and Recreation, 603 271-2665

Hampton Beach State Park is rated a Five Star Beach by NRDC
N.H. Coastal Beaches rated 2nd Cleanest Beaches in Nation

Concord, NH – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has rated Hampton Beach State Park a five star beach and called New Hampshire coastal beaches 2nd cleanest in the nation. The NRDC has published its 22nd Annual “Testing the Waters” report analyzing beach data reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by coastal and Great Lakes states. The NRDC report rated 200 beaches nationally on a five star scale with only 12 beaches nationally receiving all five stars. In addition to Hampton Beach State Park, Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road also received a five star rating.

Only 1 percent of 1,144 samples collected at coastal New Hampshire beaches during 2011 exceeded the state standard of 104 counts of Enterococci/100 ml of water. New Hampshire ranks second among the 30 states that are part of the EPA’s beach monitoring program, behind Delaware. Of the 16 New Hampshire beaches sampled in 2011, 10 did not have any elevated bacteria results at all.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of DES, the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, the local communities that host the beaches, non-profit organizations like the Blue Ocean Society and the NH Surfrider Foundation, as well as their countless volunteers, New Hampshire’s coastal beaches year after year continue to score as the cleanest in the country, ,” said DES Commissioner Tom Burack.

“Hampton Beach State Park hosts hundreds of thousands visitors a year, we are proud to offer them a Five Star Beach,” stated Commissioner George Bald, Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) The Commissioner also applauded DES for their efforts to keep our waters and shorelines clean. Part of Bald’s agency, the Division of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the management of this area.

New Hampshire residents should be proud of our coastal water quality and strive to maintain these levels. Simple steps everyone can take will prevent beach pollution in all locations. Everyone can help by picking up pet waste, maintaining septic systems, putting swim diapers with plastic covers on babies, and keeping trash off the beach. Together, everyone can work to maintain New Hampshire’s top rated beaches.

The DES Beach Inspection Program monitors the water at New Hampshire public swimming beaches from late May until early September. Personnel collect water for analysis at coastal and freshwater beaches. The water samples are analyzed for fecal bacteria to protect public health. For more information visit the programs website: http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/beaches/index.htm. Also updates on current beach advisories and warnings can be found on the DES website,www.des.nh.gov under the Alerts button. Residents can also sign up to receive notifications about beach advisories at the DES E-news subscription service,http://des.nh.gov/media/enews/index.htm, or by following the NHDES Beaches Twitter feed at: http://twitter.com/NHDES_Beaches.

The Division of Parks and Recreation is comprised of the Bureau of Park Operations, Bureau of Historic Sites, Bureau of Trails, and Cannon Mountain. The Division manages 92 properties, including state parks, beaches, campgrounds, historic sites, trails, waysides, and natural areas. The Division of Parks and Recreation is one of four divisions of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. To learn more, visit http://www.nhstateparks.org or call 603 271-3556.

To review the NRDC report, visit: http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/default.asp.

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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