"Before you head to the beach this Fourth of July weekend, no doubt you will check the forecast for any impending bad weather. But to avoid some potentially worse spoilers -- such as a bout of diarrhea or a nasty skin rash -- you might also want to consider consulting another report.
According to the National Resource Defense Council's (NRDC) "Testing of the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches" annual survey, the number of beach closures and advisories in the U.S. reached the second-highest level in more than 20 years at 24,091 days.
The report, released Wednesday by the nonprofit environmental organization, notes that 8 percent of monitoring samples from more than 3,000 beaches in 30 coastal and Great Lakes states exceeded public health standards in 2010. In two-thirds of the cases, bacterial contamination was to blame."
"Report: N.J. Has Second-Best Beach Water Quality in Nation" (Newark Star-Ledger) 
"Report: Collies Help Reduce Beach Water Contamination" (Chicago Tribune)
"Florida's Beaches Rank 6th in Clean Beach Report"(McClatchy/Miami Herald)