Despite it being the rainiest summer in seven decades, Boston Harbor-area beaches had “among the safest” water quality for beachgoers in 2023 and South Boston’s shoreline can claim to host “the cleanest urban beaches in the country,” an advocacy group said Monday.

The overall water quality rating for Boston Harbor-region beaches was 86 percent in 2023, according to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s annual Metropolitan Beaches Water Quality Report Card. The 2023 score is down from 93 percent in 2022 and below the 90 percent average of the last six years.

Pleasure Bay, City Point Beach and M Street Beach — all in South Boston — earned water quality safety ratings of 100 percent for the 2023 season, the only beaches to hit that mark. Only three beaches scored below 80 percent — Malibu Beach in Dorchester at 76 percent, Tenean Beach in Dorchester at 73 percent and King’s Beach in Lynn at 55 percent.

“What we want people to take from this report card is the confidence to go out and use your beach,” Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Executive Director Chris Mancini said Monday at a Revere Beach press conference. That beach earned a water quality safety rating of 89 percent last year, down from 98 percent in 2022 and below its 94 percent six-year average.

The group’s report card covers the Metropolitan Region’s public beaches in Lynn, Nahant, Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, South Boston, Dorchester, Quincy and Hull owned by the state and managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo, the former mayor of Revere, said Monday that Massachusetts and Greater Boston “continue to have some of the cleanest beaches all throughout the country and we are certainly proud of the progress that we’ve made.” Those resources, he said, will benefit residents as Massachusetts deals with a changing climate.

“With our summers getting hotter and hotter, it is more important now, more than ever, that our families and our children have beautiful places like Revere Beach to be able to safely cool down during the summer,” Arrigo said. “Equal access to a waterfront is not just essential for recreation, it also creates healthy communities, especially in our Gateway Cities, where we know that the impacts of climate change are having much more intense effects.”

The commissioner added, “As climate change poses new challenges, we have to continue to remain vigilant, we have to continue to double down on our efforts to protect and preserve our natural resources. And we’re not doing that just for us, we’re doing that for generations and generations after us.”

Rep. Jessica Giannino of Revere, a member of the Metropolitan Beaches Commission, called Revere Beach “my favorite place” and highlighted the important role the beach plays in a dense city and along a busy roadway.

“It’s such a blessing to be here, not only as a representative and resident of the city of Revere, but as a commissioner working to make sure that all of our metropolitan beaches, not just my home and my personal favorite beach, are clean and are safe and that they’re places where all people can swim and enjoy,” she said. “This is such an incredible resource because not every family can afford a vacation, right? This is many families in Revere’s resource and outlet for the summertime, where they can take their families to enjoy a safe, fun day out. And we need to ensure that we protect that and we need to ensure that America’s first public beach is always a safe place for our families in the city of Revere and our surrounding communities.”

Save The Harbor/Save The Bay’s report card is not the only resource available to beachgoers curious about the quality of the water just offshore. The Department of Public Health runs an interactive dashboard that provides water quality testing results for the current beach season. The dashboard is updated at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day to list any beaches that are closed because of poor water quality results.

Mancini said he hopes people will use both water quality resources so they become familiar with conditions at their local beach.

“The one challenge we all continue to face is that technology has not caught up with our needs yet. Those tests take 24 hours to get back. So in terms of a daily response, it’s hard to say with 100 percent accuracy is it safe to swim today,” he said. He added, “And until that technology catches up with us, Save The Harbor’s best advice … if you do get a heavy heavy rainstorm, kind of like we did [Sunday] afternoon, give it 24 hours. That’s just best practice.”

(Copyright (c) 2024 State House News Service.

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