Updated Sunday, May 25: Westchester’s Sound shore beaches are safe for swimming!
The second season of our Sound Swim Alerts starts this weekend with the good news that despite the off and on rain, beaches in Westchester are safe for swimming today.
Just like last year, we will be letting you know each weekend morning if the water at our local beaches is clean enough to swim in. Check here on Green Cities Blue Waters, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
We started Sound Swim Alerts last year for two reasons: to give Westchester residents an easy way to find out if Long Island Sound beaches were open, and to call attention to the long-term and totally unacceptable reality that contaminated stormwater regularly pollutes local beaches.
The situation is so bad that the Westchester County Health Department preemptively closes 10 beaches for the day each time it rains a half-inch or more within 24 hours (if it rains an inch or more, the beaches stay closed for two days).
Those 10 are the public beaches at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck and Hudson Park in New Rochelle, as well as Beach Point Club, Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club, Shore Acres and Orienta Club in Mamaroneck; Echo Bay Club, Davenport Club, and Greentree Club in New Rochelle; and Coveleigh Club in Rye. There’s more information here about why some beaches are shut down and others aren’t.
Last year, by our count, Long Island Sound beaches in Westchester County were closed for 136 beach days (the number of beaches closed multiplied by the number of days they were closed).
Like last summer, whenever the beaches are closed, whether it be a weekend or a weekday, we will post a Sound Swim Alert and send an email alert as well. To receive the email, click here, type in your address, fill out the form, and check the box next to “Westchester & Sound Swim Alerts” (and please click other boxes to stay informed about our other activities!).
We’re not simply calling attention to the problem though. We’re working to solve it, and there are actions you can take to help. Yesterday we inaugurated our Long Island Sound Pledge as a way of getting more people involved in cleaning up the Sound. Read about it here and then decide how you can be part of the solution. — Tom Andersen, New York Program and Communications Coordinator