High Waves

A surging storm system in mid October sent waves crashing into Harris Beach.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with ocean water at Harris Beach, located in Curry County. 

The health authority issued the advisory Aug. 26, after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from follow-up tests taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the ocean water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. Officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter. 

Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. 

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

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