Some of Greater Boston's beaches "rank among the cleanest urban beaches in the nation," but others continue to have pollution problems, according to a new report.
The environmental advocacy group Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's first-ever beach report card, which ranked 18 Department of Conservation and Recreation beaches based on the percentage of time it was safe to swim in the water and on the accuracy of the flag system notifying swimmers of safe conditions, has high marks for a handful of local beaches.
"Some of the region's beaches, including Nantasket Beach in Hull and the South Boston beaches, are safe for swimming nearly every day and rank among the cleanest urban beaches in the nation," Bruce Berman, the group's communications director, said in a release.
Nantasket Beach scored 100 percent for overall beach safety, followed by four South Boston beaches, all with scores above 94 percent.
"However," Berman continued in the release, "there continue to be pollution problems at some of the region's public beaches, including most of Wollaston Beach in Quincy, at Tenean Beach in Dorchester and at King's Beach in Lynn. We need to address them..."
Of the 18 ranked by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, King's Beach in Lynn came in last, with 73 percent overall beach safety.
Speaking to our Newscast unit, Berman credited recent projects to remove garbage and human waste from Boston waters for the city's high beach rankings.
"Before we began the project, the beaches in South Boston were closed for swimming as often as one out of five days," he said. "And like I said, last year they were clean more than 98 percent of the time."
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay did find fault, however, with the warning flag system in South Boston and elsewhere.
"The three red flags that flew at Southie last year flew on the wrong days," Berman said. "And that's the case for most of the areas in the region."
You can see the full rankings of the 18 area beaches here.
This program aired on May 30, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.