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Development Blamed For Recent Jump in Local Beach Pollution

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Aired 4/19/09

Beach pollution advisories and closings jumped last year in San Diego, but local clean water officials say they're not terribly concerned. The Natural Resources Defense Council compiles water quality data on 3,500 beaches around the nation. Pollution warnings jumped nearly a third from 2005 to 2006.

San Diego Coastkeeper Director Bruce Reznik says some of the increase comes from changes in the way city officials test local waters. Even so, he says local officials should be working to eliminate all ocean pollution.

Reznik : We should make sure that people never have to look in the paper or go on the county's web site to see whether we have bacteria pollution on our beaches. Not only is it a public health threat but it impacts local businesses and it just impacts the way of life in San Diego.

Sewage and poorly designed storm-water systems get a lot of the blame for national beach postings. Urban runoff pollution also contributes. Clean water advocates say coastal communities need to put better development rules into place.

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