While some Massachusetts beachgoers worry about sharks on the Cape, a new report underscores a more widespread threat: fecal bacteria.

On Aug. 13, our partner Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center released “Safe for Swimming?: Water Quality at Our Beaches.” The report found that more than 200 Massachusetts beach locations had potentially unsafe pollution levels from fecal bacteria (which is just what you think it is). This contamination, commonly caused by stormwater runoff and sewage overflows, can make people ill.

How widespread is the problem? "It’s happening on beaches all up and down our coastline, from the North Shore to the South Shore and the Cape,” said Environment Massachusetts State Director Ben Hellerstein to the Boston Herald.

Environment Massachusetts is calling on state legislators to pass a bill that would alert the public in the event of sewage overflows into our rivers and coastal waters.

Read more. 

Photo: Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center State Director Ben Hellerstein at Dorchester's Malibu at the release of "Safe for Swimming?: Water Quality at Our Beaches". Credit: Staff.