Two Northwest Indiana beaches are among the nation’s most polluted, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Joerse Park Beach I and Joerse Park Beach II in East Chicago in Lake County were named on a report of the best and worst beaches in the country, the Northwest Indiana Times reports.
The two beaches lie between the East Chicago Marina and Buffington Harbor in Gary.
They were also named “repeat offenders” as they have reportedly had more than 25 percent of beach water samples worse than the public health benchmarks.
Nationally, 10 percent of all beach water samples exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s most protective benchmark for assessing swimmer safety, known as the Beach Action Value.
“Although protective beach water quality standards are critical, ultimately the most important long-term action to protect beachgoers is to adopt policies that address the sources of beach water pollution, particularly stormwater runoff,” the report states.
The Great Lakes region was the worst for beach water quality, with 13 percent of samples reporting an unsafe level of bacteria.
Indiana ranked 21st nationally out of 30 states with beaches when it comes to percentage of beach water samples exceeding the Beach Action Value.
Illinois ranked at no. 15. Among the most-polluted Illinois beaches were South Shore Beach and Montrose Beach.