The Country's Nastiest Beaches (Plus Some Clean Ones!)

Before you pack the kids up for a day of surf and sand, check if your beach is safe for swimming

If you’re booking a family beach vacay, you’ll want to read this. The National Resources Defense Council has released its annual report card on the cleanliness of more than 3,000 of the nation’s beaches, both ocean and lake. The report takes into account local monitoring practices and contamination, since high bacteria levels can lead to ailments like stomach flu or hepatitis. The culprit for icky water is most often stormwater polluion, but (ew) sewage spills are sometimes a factor too.

The grossest beaches? According to NPR, which looked through all the ratings, they are:

Avalon Beach, CA

Orange Doheny State Beach, CA
Lake Jeorse Park Beach, IN
Ocean Beachwood Beach, NJ
Monroe Ontario Beach, NY
Ashtabula Lakeshore Park, OH
Milwaukee South Shore Beach, WI

There are some safe, sanitary spots to catch a wave. These 13 beaches, from California to Maryland, scored a 5-star rating, meaning they are among the cleanest in the nation.

Swim safe!

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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