Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Our Beaches Some of the Dirtiest in the Country

"The Ocean State’s beaches were the fourth worst in the nation last year in terms of meeting national health standards for beach pollution, according to a national report released yesterday by a New York environmental watchdog agency. "
And which beaches top the list - hmm. Newport’s Easton’s Beach and the beach at Atlantic Beach Club in Middletown,
"And there is hope that the largest single root cause of Bay pollution, sewage overflow from Providence, can be neutralized. Next fall, Providence will complete the first phase of its Combined Sewage Overflow tunnel, which should capture the millions of gallons of rainwater and sewage that currently overflow the metropolitan sewer system during heavy rains.
“The best step Rhode Island can take to tackle beach closings is to tackle our pollution problems by funding upgrades to our sewer." So says Ernest Julian, chief of the Department of Health’s Office of Food Protection, which monitors pollution levels at state beaches.
What has the State done? Well this year a bill was finally passed regarding phasing out cesspools. Why does this matter? Four yrs. ago we had a bad fish kill & the lege held meetings on what they could do about it. Our Sen. Gibbs came out of the meeting saying that the #1 thing we could do was get rid of the cess pools in coastal areas, esp. Little C. So she sponsored a bill, and sponsored a bill, and sponsored a bill. This yr. a bill finally passed - sponsored by - someone else. A Democrat. Nice lady, absolutely useless in the State House.
We've been luckier this year with fewer closing than last year. Why fewer closings this year? Because of our excellent plan? No - BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN LESS RAIN. Middletown has replaced it's sewer line in the area & upgraded its pumping station. Yet if we receive an inch of rain or more - CLOSED.
We still are having runoff problems & no solution yet. And the polluted part of Third Beach isn't even on the agenda. Fix it! If Prov. needs help, give it to them. Many hours of time has been spent talking about trash removal. Let's get serious here & talk about our pollution problem. Why aren't we speaking to NOAA? Rep. Kennedy said in a speech that he wanted to help us out & secure funding. So let's take him up on it.
With the air quality down lately, and my asthma & allergies kicking in, the beach with it's better air quality is one of the few places I get any relief. But that's another article.

BTW, Light rain today. Thanks to Projo writer Daniel Barbarisi.
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