PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine has miles and miles of beautiful public beaches... But sometimes the water has bacteria that can make you sick.
The Natural Resources Defense Council held a press conference Tuesday at East End Beach to talk about water quality along the coast of Maine.
Organizers say while the Department of Environmental Protection holds a national standard of water quality at public beaches, there are many in Maine that have often dipped below that, without warning the public.
NRDC says East End Beach itself, is one of the best beaches, because crews test it 3 times a week and post signs when bacterial levels are high; but not every beach will post a warning when those levels dip. One beach referenced, was Laite beach in Camden. Melissa Waage with the NRDC says in 2011, 41% of samples taken from the water there were below the national level.
Waage says the goal of getting this information out, is not to scare the public away from beaches, but to urge more towns and cities to control the level of pollution that runs off into their water. Some places deal with storm drain run-off, which areas like Portland have worked to fix.
In the meantime, there is a way to check the beach yourself, by going to healthymainebeaches.org.