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June 27, 2014

A year after Sandy, the Natural Resources Defense Council took water samples from 3,000 beaches along the nation’s coasts and found that New Jersey had seven of 35 “superstar” beaches -- the most of any state.

A “superstar” beach is one that did not exceed the previous national standard by more than 2 percent between 2009 and 2012, and also one that did not exceed the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Beach Action Value (BAV) by more than 2 percent in 2013. The BAV is a more stringent national standard for beach water quality.

The seven beaches considered superstars are located in Margate, Avalon, Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Upper Township, Wildwood Crest, and Pt. Pleasant Beach.

Not all beaches were so clean, however. Although 31 percent of those tested did not exceed the national BAV safety threshold, and 53 others were less than 10 percent above the threshold, 276 were not monitored. There were 9 beaches with more than 10 percent of their samples exceeding the BAV threshold, and one – Beachwood in Ocean County -- had 52 percent of its samples exceeding the BAV.

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