New Jersey

Jersey Shore Beaches Reopen After Bacteria Levels Force Closure

All NJ beaches were reopened Thursday

Officials reopened all beaches after closing 15 in New Jersey because of elevated bacteria levels.

The state Environmental Protection Department found high levels of bacteria Wednesday. Seven beaches in Atlantic City alone were closed. The series of shutdowns come after three beaches were closed for water quality issues Tuesday.

Environmental officials say runoff water containing chemicals and bird droppings brought on by heavy rains is responsible for the spike in bacteria.

Atlantic County public health officer Patricia Diamond tells the Press of Atlantic City heavy rainfall on consecutive days puts a burden on the ocean. Diamond adds that bodies of water need a chance to recover.

Beaches in Ventnor City and Somers Point that were closed Wednesday reopened Thursday afternoon and all Atlantic City beaches opened. Some Ocean County beaches also reopened Thursday.

First Alert: Heavy Rain, Flooding Into the Weekend

Officials said testing Thursday showed all waters met the state's "stringent recreational bathing standards." All ocean, bay and coastal river beaches are open.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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