BERLIN – Assateague Coastkeeper and Assateague Coastal Trust have announced the Worcester County launch of the Swim Guide, an online tool and smartphone app to display local bacteria monitoring data.
The Swim Guide smart phone app will allow people to find safe beaches and swimming areas to recreate and enjoy their waterways in one easy place. The new, free, smart phone app is available from the App Store, Google Play or www.theswimguide.org.
“The focus of this weekend’s launch of the Swim Guide – Worcester County is to encourage citizens to celebrate the right to clean, swimmable waters and to promote the importance of the Clean Water Act, established in 1972, in protecting our local waterways,” said Assateague Coastkeeper Kathy Phillips.
Provided and managed by member groups within Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of 207 water protection groups worldwide, the Swim Guide helps the user locate the closest, cleanest beach, get directions, view photos and determine if the water is safe for swimming. The Swim Guide also allows the user to share the whole adventure with their friends and family on social networks.
“We are blessed with ocean beaches that are not heavily impacted by stormwater runoff,” said Phillips. “In fact, Ocean City and Assateague Island are nationally ranked each year with some of the cleanest, safest swimming beaches in the country. However, I’m often asked if the creeks and bays are safe to swim in, especially after a heavy rainfall. The Swim Guide provides a free, easy to use way for swimmers and surfers to see the most recent bacteria data for all their favorite bathing beaches or for waterways they use for direct contact watersports like kayaking and SUP paddling. Swim Guide-Worcester County will help them make informed decisions about whether to swim, paddle or go jetskiing.”
The Swim Guide utilizes water quality monitoring data from government authorities and other organizations conducting routine testing to determine the water quality at nearly 5,000 beaches across North America. Local testing locations in Ocean City, on Assateague Island, and in the Coastal Bays waterways are updated weekly during the swimming season by Worcester County, the National Park Service and Assateague Coastal Trust – Memorial Day through Labor Day.
More information on the Swim Guide, and app download instructions, can be found at www.theswimguide.org. Worcester County data will be posted on the app each Friday throughout the summer until Labor Day weekend.