The Natural Resources Defense Council is making the scheduling of this summer’s beach trips a whole lot easier, at least in the way of telling you where to go and, more importantly, where to avoid. In an annual report released on Wednesday, the organization listed the dirtiest and cleanest beaches in the United States, sampling over 3,500 locations. They even have an interactive map that shares details about each and every location. Why is this important? More than 10% of the sampled beaches failed EPA standards for safety — and that is disgusting.
Now, what constitutes a “healthy” beach (or, again, a place where you won’t contract a slew of nasty illnesses)? A healthy beach is the kind that will not have you walking away as another horrifying EPA statistic clumped in with the 3.5 million people who get sick each year from free-flowing drainage and the raw sewage it introduces into our waterways. Ever notice an influx of pink eye following oceanside or lake house retreats? It’s likely not from your friends farting on your pillows, or whatever Seth Rogen and crew might have convinced you of Knocked Up. Don’t worry, there is a list of “superstar” beaches that will make planning even easier.