"Americans Love the Beach, But Should Watch Out for Bacteria"

"From sea to shining sea, Americans love the beach."

"The average citizen hangs out on an ocean shore, Great Lake or river about 10 days a year, according to a federal estimate. And the money they spend is crazy, nearly $6 trillion in 2007, 85 percent of all tourism revenue, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But money doesn't always buy happiness at the beach. About 3.5 million people each year get sick enough to throw up or get diarrhea after splashing in water containing harmful bacteria, according to an Environmental Protection Agency estimate. This is why environmentalists are criticizing the Obama administration's proposal this month to cut all funding for states to monitor contamination at beaches starting in 2013."

Darryl Fears reports for the Washington Post February 26, 2012.

Source: Wash Post, 02/28/2012