TRENTON — The number of New Jersey ocean beaches closed by high levels of bacteria jumped to 15 on Wednesday after a new round of testing.

Of the 217 beaches monitored by the New Jersey Cooperative Coastal Monitoring, advisories were issued for just five beaches after new testing on Wednesday.

The likely culprit is heavy rain from the weekend that picked up bacteria from geese or seagulls, resulting in testing by the state Department of Environmental Protection showing high levels of enterococci, a type of bacteria found in animal and human waste.

An advisory is issued when the water tests high the first time. A second test with higher-than-normal results results in a closure.

Six beaches were closed in Atlantic City and three in Ventnor City. DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said nearby waterways or parks could be attracting extra birds to the beaches.

"When you have a really heavy rainfall like we had earlier in the week, that forces a lot of that stuff into the stormwater system and depending on where the congregation of the animals occurred" in relation to the location of where the test is performed.

Hajna said that the Beachwood and Pine Beach results were so high they went right to a closure earlier in the week.

"Beachwood has historically been a bit of an issue having to do with the surface, where it drains. The circulation of the water is pretty poor in that area," Hajna said.

The closed beaches are all ocean beaches unless otherwise noted

Atlantic County:

  • Atlantic City: Annapolis Ave
  • Atlantic City: Bartram
  • Atlantic CIty: Georgia
  • Atlantic City Missouri
  • Atlantic City: Montgomery Ave
  • Atlantic City: North Carolina
  • Atlantic City: Pennsylvania
  • Somers Point - New Jersey Ave (bay beach)
  • Ventnor City: Austin Avebue
  • Ventnor City: Dorset:
  • Ventnor City: New Haven
  • Ventnor City: Washington (as a safety precaution because of its closeness to the other beaches)

Ocean County:

  • Beachwood: Beachwood Beach West
  • Pine Beach: West Beach Avon Road
  • Stafford: Jennifer

Advisories:

Monmouth County:

  • Sea Girt: The Terrace
  • Sea Girt: Beacon Blvd

Ocean County:

  • Barnegat Light: 25th Street (Bay)
  • Long Beach: New Jersey
  • Point Pleasant Beach: Maryland

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