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Maryland's beaches are ready for summer

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Posted at 4:49 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 16:49:56-04

The sun’s finally out in Baltimore. Memorial Day weekend is coming up and kids will be out of school soon. And, according to some new reports, Maryland is definitely prepared for summer.

A new report by the Maryland Department of the Environment shows that Maryland beaches were open last summer without an advisory 98.7 percent of the time. An advisory is a recommendation against swimming, not the same thing as a closure.

According to the department, advisories are issued by beach managers when local health departments get data showing that fecal bacteria standards in the water have been exceeded.

The report means that 2015 was the fourth year in a row that rate of beaches open without an advisory exceeded 98 percent and the 11th year in a row that the rate was 96 percent or higher.

According to new data released from the National Marin Manufacturers Association, Maryland ranked No. 22 in the list of top boating states, with $290 million in new powerboat, outboard engine, trailer and accessory spending in 2015, up 7.6 percent from 2014.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, over 20 state parks have boat launches, with dozens of others scattered throughout the state.

Visitors can check current conditions of beaches at marylandhealthybeaches.com or individual county websites.

The Maryland Healthy Beaches website includes color-coded status reports on beaches throughout the state and daily updates on rainfall. Visitors can also subscribe for email or text alerts for specific beaches in the state.

Some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting sick while swimming in natural water include not swallowing beach water, bathing after swimming, volunteering for local beach cleanup efforts and not feeding seagulls or other wildlife.

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