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Galveston Beach Outlook After Summer Storms

Galveston beaches are clear of pollution caused by Tropical Storm Bill and the Memorial Day flooding. Health officials say they continually test the water to ensure safety.

gathering beach samples
Image courtesy of the Texas Beach Watch program

 

Tropical Storm Bill proved to be a non-event for Galveston. But the storm and the Memorial Day floods impacted Houston waterways, and the polluted run-off made its way through the island city out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Scott Packard, with the Galveston County Health District, says they monitored the run-off by routinely testing 52 locations along the beach and a site on the Texas City Dike.

“We test them for a particular bacterial indicator of fecal matter,” says Packard. “And when that particular bacterial indicator comes back at a level that’s above the federal guidelines, we go ahead and issue a beach watch advisory for the beach adjacent to that testing location.”

Leah Cast is with the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says the all-clear on the beaches comes just in time for the holidays. 

“Anytime we have a holiday weekend in the summer, it’s a big time for Galveston tourism. People are looking for somewhere to spend that extra day off from work, and Galveston is a great, close choice for a lot of Houstonians,” said Cast.

Tourism is the second largest industry on the island, after healthcare.

Click here to view beach conditions

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