Marine recreation and public health microbiology: Quest for the ideal indicator

BioScience
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Abstract

Four-fifths of the population of the United States live in close proximity to the oceans or Great Lakes, and approximately 100 million Americans use the marine environment for recreation each year (Thurman 1994). Consequently, contamination of lakes, rivers, and coastal waters raises significant public health issues. Among the leading sources of chemical and biological contamination of these waters and associated beaches are sewer systems, septic tanks, stormwater runoff, industrial wastes, wastewater injection wells, cesspits, animal wastes, commercial and private boat wastes, and human recreation. In 1997, 649 beach closings or advisories were caused by sewage spills and overflows (NRDC 1998). In Florida alone, approximately 500 million gallons of sewage were released along the coast each year during the late 1980s (Neshyba 1987). Thus one of the primary concerns in public health is the risk that humans using the marine environment for recreational activities will encounter microbial pathogens.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Marine recreation and public health microbiology: Quest for the ideal indicator
Series title BioScience
Volume 51
Issue 10
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Academic Institute of Biological Sciences
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 817
Last page 825
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