Beachwood Beach in Ocean County, New Jersey has been closed after it tested positive for high levels of enterococci, a bacteria typically found in feces of animals. The bacteria is commonly spread from birds such as seagulls or geese. Since the beach had high levels of the bacteria for two consecutive days on Monday and Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) closed the beach, restricting swimming on site.

The NJDEP also tested bacteria levels for two bay beaches in Ocean County, the Barnegat Light 25th street bay, and the Long Beach Township bay beach at West Pennsylvania Avenue. Both readings had an unsafe level of enterococci, which according to NJDEP spokesman Larry Hajna is any level of unit over 104 per 100 milliliters. If these levels continue to be high tomorrow, the bay beaches will also close. Enterococci levels tend to spike when there is heavy rainfall, which carries animal feces from asphalt and roofs into sewers, which then spread into rivers, bays and oceans.

The bacteria can cause swimmers to experience ear infections, stomach cramps, and eye infections. While these bacteria often take a day or two to dissolve, these beaches remain closed and are tested regularly until they reach bathing standards, according to the NJDEP.



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