2016 BEACH Program Report
Four beaches in Island County were sampled during 2016. Dave Mackie Memorial County Park and Windjammer Park beaches were sampled every other week from May 24th through August 29th. Windjammer Lagoon and Freeland County Park in Holmes Harbor were sampled weekly during the same time period. Results are presented in the following table with details on each beach in the text below.
Dave Mackie Memorial County Park
The marine beach at Dave Mackie Memorial County Park had low levels of bacteria indicating excellent water quality. The beach met swimming criteria during all periods sampled.
The saltwater lagoon behind the marine shoreline has a permanent swim advisory due to high bacteria levels found during sampling in 2014.
Freeland County Park
Freeland County Park, Homes Harbor
Freeland County Park beach has a permanent swimming advisory from May 15th through September 1st due to sporadic high bacteria levels during the summer months. Out of 15 sample events in 2016, five sample events had very high bacteria levels, initiating a swimming closure. In addition, bacteria levels were in the swim advisory range three times. This beach does not meet the swimming standards with both the geometric mean and the 90th percentile levels exceeding safe swimming and wading levels.
During summer, north winds cause beach wrack (decaying marine vegetation along the shoreline) to accumulate along the southern Holmes Harbor shoreline. Beach wrack can be up to two feet thick in areas. In 2012 - 2013 a study was done to determine if beach wrack (decaying marine vegetation along the shoreline) could be a source of bacteria. The study showed lower levels of bacteria during the winter and spring seasons when beach wrack was not present in such great amounts. High bacteria levels during summer months may be part of a natural condition at this beach.
During the monitoring period Windjammer Lagoon had very good water quality with low bacteria levels. This beach met swimming standards for all periods sampled.
Windjammer Park Beach
Windjammer Park Beach
Windjammer Park beach has a permanent swim advisory due to moderately high bacteria levels. During 2016, out of eight sample events, this beach had one sampling event where bacteria levels were in the swim advisory range.
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