Contributors Riley Nevil, Abigail Wilbert, and Bella Yedman
Residents and visitors in both Pine Beach and Ocean Gate can easily utilize Barnegat Bay with several access points that provide amenities such as parking spaces, trash receptacles, playgrounds, and swimming beaches. However, at many of these locations, storm drains are present, making it potentially harmful to swim, especially following a rain event. In this study, water quality conditions were monitored along Toms River in Pine Beach and Ocean Gate over a 10-week sampling period. Parameters included bacteria colonies, water temperature, conductance, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and chlorophyll-a. The bacterial health of each site was assessed by counting the amount of times each site surpassed 200 colonies / 100 mL EPA swimming standard for Fecal Coliforms. Avon Road in Pine Beach and Jeffrey’s Creek in Ocean Gate were found to have the highest fecal bacterial counts, while Asbury Avenue and Stone Harbor Avenue had no detectable fecal bacteria throughout the study period. Based on this study, it is recommended that Avon Road and Jeffrey’s Creek are routinely monitored for water quality conditions.
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