Cape May County Makes Sure Ocean Is Safe for Bathers

Cape May County Makes Sure Ocean Is 'Clean'

For the thousands of vacationers who flock to Cape May County towns along the coast during the summer, clean water is pretty much expected. But for those who are charged with making sure it stays that way, it's a job they take very seriously.

Water from 61 ocean sites on the coast and one on the bay is sampled every Monday from May 12  through Labor Day to assure its qualify and safety. Along with water quality sampling by the county, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a helicopter that goes up and down the shoreline from Cape May to Sandy Hook to check on floating debris that could threaten marine life and pose a health risk for swimmers, fishermen and others along the Jersey shore.

According to Linda Wilde, division director of Cape May County's Environmental Health Services, the county's program is strong and, with the help of the DEP's flyover program, the county's waters will be under scrutiny all summer — and that includes testing the level of enterococcus bacteria that is an indicator of possible contamination.

To make sure the water stays safe, the county said that anyone who notices an algae bloom should call both the DEP at 877-927-6337 and the County Health Department at 609-465-1209.