By Dayton Business Journal

The state of Ohio ranks 27th nationally in beach water quality, according to the latest report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Great Lakes beaches violate public health standards about twice as often as those on the coast, a trend that continues, though some communities are taking active and creative steps to deal with the problem, said the report, released Wednesday. The report covers 30 states that have coastal beaches.

This yearâ¿¿s report found that 7 percent of beachwater samples nationwide in 2009 violated health standards, showing no improvement from the previous two years. The region with the most contaminated beachwater in 2009 was the Great Lakes, where 13 percent of beachwater samples violated public health standards.

⿿This report screams out that we need to do a better job taking care of the Great Lakes,⿝ said Andrew Wetzler, associate director of NRDC⿿s Midwest Program. ⿿We⿿ve invested immense resources to promote the Lakes as beautiful tourist destinations and something that makes life in our cities better. If we don⿿t get serious about sewage and intense about invasive species, Great Lakes beaches will remain too dirty to swim at more than double rate of beaches on the coasts.⿝

Ohio has 62 public beaches lining 7.3 miles of Lake Erie shoreline. Villa Angela State Park, Edgecliff Beach and Euclid State Park, all in Cuyahoga County, were named the three dirtiest beaches in Ohio.

The stateâ¿¿s beachwater quality monitoring program is administered by the Ohio Department of Health.

In its 20th year, Natural Resources Defense Councilâ¿¿s annual report â¿¿ Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches â¿¿ analyzes government data on beachwater testing results from 2009 at more than 3,000 beaches nationwide, and provides a 5-star rating chart for 200 of the nationâ¿¿s most popular beaches.

The report says pollution caused more than 18,000 closing and advisory days at Americaâ¿¿s beaches in 2009, while this year the oil disaster has already led to 2,239 days of beach closing, advisories, and notices in the Gulf region.

Read Ohio's report here.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010