How's YOUR beach? NRDC releases 'Testing the Waters'

A boogie board rider tries to take a wave straight to the end at the beach near Avalon Borough Park. An NRDC report identified the Avalon Beach at 40th Street as among those with the fewest water quality problems in the state.

Wanna go for a swim?

Seven New Jersey beaches are among 35 “superstar” beaches ntionwide — those with consistently excellent water quality — in the 24th annual ranking by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The national environmental group also flagged 17 “repeat offender” beaches — including one in New Jersey — that appear to have chronic water pollution problems.

Overall, New Jersey ranked third among 30 states for the water quality of its beaches, according to the results for 2013.

But that was just among the beaches where the water was actually sampled regularly. The NRDC’s report, “Testing the Waters,” found that 276 beaches — or 56 percent — in New Jersey were not monitored or had a limited number of samples.

Those identified as New Jersey’s finest:

  • Washington (Margate) in Atlantic County
  • 40th St. (Avalon) in Cape May County
  • 40th St. (Sea Isle City) in Cape May County
  • Stone Harbor at 96th St. in Cape May County
  • Upper Township at Webster Rd. in Cape May County
  • Wildwood Crest at Orchid in Cape May County
  • Broadway (Pt. Pleasant Beach) in Ocean County

The repeat offender:

  • Beachwood Beach on Toms River in Ocean County

At Beachwood, as well as nearby West Beachwood Beach West, about half of water samples exceeded federal safety thresholds, the report found.

The poor water quality at these beaches prompted a 2001 DEP report, which you can find here.

The DEP report said tests showed stormwater discharging from outfall pipes inteo the river were a source of “significant amounts of pollutants.”

Likewise, the NRDC blamed stormwater runoff and sewage overflows for water quality problems at many beaches.

The NRDC report includes a cliackable map of nearly 3,500 beaches nationwide that is searchable by zip code.