Understanding the Sound’s Beaches
Is the water quality at your favorite beach getting better or worse? How do you know?
Save the Sound launched the Sound Health Explorer in 2015 to make information about water quality conditions at Long Island Sound beaches available to the public and to activate local and regional solutions to improve them. This interactive online tool gives you access to the same water testing results used to manage your local beaches—plus factors that affect water at each of the 200+ beaches that encircle Long Island Sound.
We urge everyone who loves Long Island Sound to empower yourself with knowledge of your local water quality conditions and sources of water pollution. Together we can eliminate those sources to preserve the Sound’s health—and yours.
Information you can find on Sound Health Explorer:
- Beach Sampling Data for all Sound beaches dating back to 2004
- Rainfall data to see correlations between water pollution and precipitation
- Public Boat Launch locations
- Wastewater Treatment Plant locations and discharge permit number
- Combined Sewer Overflow Outfall locations
- Watershed and Subwatershed boundaries
- Land Use & Land Cover
- Percent of Impervious Surface to show density of the built environment around the Sound, and areas that likely experience the highest volume of stormwater runoff
Tackling Pollution with the Sound Health Explorer
The most exciting feature of the Sound Health Explorer is the ability to identify local problems—and then use that knowledge to find local and regional solutions. Causes of fecal bacteria contamination vary around the Sound. The most common sources include leaking sewer lines, failing septic systems and cesspools, combined sewage overflows in older cities, and polluted stormwater runoff that delivers fecal-contaminated water and other pollutants from the surrounding area into our waterways.
Without access to reliable data, water pollution can remain mysterious and out of reach. But the Sound Health Explorer makes data visible so citizens and municipal leaders can understand their local pollutions sources—and get inspired by success stories and progress reports from communities actively working to improve your beach water quality.