Beach Safety

The State of Rhode Island has over 400 miles of coastline. During the summer months some of our beaches may see 10,000 visitors in a single day.  In order to keep our beaches clean and safe it is important for you and your family to do your part in eliminating pollution and preventing illness.

  1. Make Sure the Beach is Open for Swimming The Beach Monitoring Program oversees water quality testing at public beaches during the summer months to make sure that the water is safe for swimming.
  2. Use Sunscreen with both UVB and UVA protection and an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply at least 20 minutes before exposure to the sun and reapply after swimming and throughout the day.
  3. Avoid, or Treat Swimmer’s Itch, a skin reaction caused by an allergic reaction to a parasite. To avoid a reaction towel dry and or shower with fresh water after swimming in the ocean.
  4. Keep Food Safe
    • Bring food that does not require refrigeration
    • Pack perishables in an insulated cooler with ice to keep temperature below 40°
    • Shade the cooler and/or partially bury it in the sand
    • Do not eat perishable food that has been in sun for more than 2 hours and when in doubt throw it out.
  5. Report Any Illness after going to the beach to the RI Department of Heath
  6. Do Not Rely on Diapers or swim pants to keep the water clean
  7. Be a Responsible Pet Owner
    • Scoop and dispose of pet waste properly
    • Follow local rules for pets at the beach. State beaches do not allow dogs during the on-season from April 1 through September 30
    • Follow the leash laws for your city or town
  8. Don’t Swim, Fish or Harvest Shellfish in water contaminated by harmful algae blooms. If the water looks scummy, don’t go in as it may be polluted with harmful algae.

Content Source: Rhode Island Department of Health

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