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A Matter Of Opinion

Tue., July 29, 2008, 11:42 a.m.

What’s in your water?

(S-R file photo)

The Natural Resources Defense Council jus released information on the 20,000 beach closings so far this year due to pollution, etc.

Using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the report, “Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches,” shows the number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches was more than 20,000 for the third consecutive year, confirming that our nation’s beaches continue to suffer from serious water pollution that puts swimmers at risk. For the full report, click here.

"Some families can’t enjoy their local beaches because they are polluted and kids are getting sick – largely because of human and animal waste in the water," said Nancy Stoner, director of NRDC’s clean water project.

In 1966, we traveled to upstate New York to visit relatives and the lake nearby was closed, due to pollution. I remember feeling shocked that a lake could ever be closed.

And in 1985, after moving back to Spokane after a decade away, I went swimming at Newman Lake where I spent some childhood summers and was surprised to see how dirty it looked, compared with those childhood years.

So this summer afternoon, we're collecting swimming "hole" pollution memories. Or just the memories.

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