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Beach season ends, along with risk of algal blooms

by | Sep 6, 2023 | Featured: News, News

The official beach season concluded on Labor Day weekend, along with the risk of algal blooms that hampered enjoyment this summer of the upper and main beaches at Hopkinton State Park.

On Tuesday, the Parks & Recreation Department and Hopkinton Health Department jointly announced that the beach permit ended at the conclusion of the holiday weekend.

“The success of the season is attributed to the collaborative effort between the Parks & Recreation Department, Health Department and Lake Maspenock Preservation Association,” shared Health Department DIrector Shaun McAuliffe. “During the 2023 permitted beach season, Sandy Beach was one of a few freshwater public beaches not closed for poor water quality or algal blooms.”

During this summer, both the upper and main beaches at Hopkinton State Park were closed due to high enterococci bacteria levels that can cause a health risk if the bacteria is ingested or if a person is submerged in the water. This was a persistent problem this summer at beaches throughout the state. Sandy Beach, in contrast, remained open for swimming.

McAuliffe added that a copy of the Health Department’s annual report to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will be available to the public as soon as it is submitted to the MDPH.

As the intensity of the sun decreases during the transition into fall, the risk of algal blooms decreases, noted McAuliffe.

“If we continue to maintain the beach free from animal droppings, collect waste when walking our pets and follow best management practices as related to waterfront property maintenance during the offseason, we can anticipate similar water quality conditions into the future,” he said.

Though the beach will no longer be staffed with lifeguards and weekly water quality samples will no longer be collected for analysis, the beach grounds will remain open for public use.

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