Something is wrong with any report that doesn’t award five-plus stars to a whole bunch of beaches on the Cape Cod National Seashore, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, for a start. But I assume the National Resources Defense Council, in its new report on the cleanest and dirtiest beaches in the country, isn’t going by pure aesthetics. And it’s not aiming to be exhaustive; it looked only at 200 popular beaches nationwide. Its criteria:
The star system awards up to five stars to each popular beach for exceptionally low violation rates and strong testing and safety practices. Criteria include testing more than once a week, notifying the public promptly when tests reveal bacteria levels violating health standards, and posting closings and advisories both online and at the beach.
Here’s the full set of ratings. No Massachusetts beaches were awarded five stars, but two in New Hampshire were: Hampton Beach State Park and Wallis Sands Beach at Wallis Road. Look at it this way: You wouldn’t want the whole rest of the country to find out how great your favorite beach is, would you?