Know Your Beach

Beach Conditions

The really are two areas of consideration regarding beach conditions: swimming health advisories, and sea and surf conditions. 

Chatham County Health Department performs weekly testing for enterococcus bacteria presence over acceptable levels at beaches near the crossovers on Tybee Island. Once an advisory is issued because of higher than acceptable levels of enterococci, testing continues daily until the levels fall below EPA guidelines.

Advisories are issued only for areas testing positive and do not impact any other beaches on the island. There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness; however, these beach water advisories are to alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact. An area under advisory does not mean the beach is closed.
Georgia Healthy Beaches Map

Advisories are issued only for areas testing positive and do not impact any other beaches on the island. There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness; however, these beach water advisories are to alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact. An area under advisory does not mean the beach is closed.

Water samples are tested only for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste. When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

The Chatham County Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the areas under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from these areas should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

These areas are re-tested, and the advisories are lifted when tests show the bacteria levels meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards. For more information about beach water testing, go to www.gachd.org and click on the Environmental Health tab at the top of the page.

You can get the complete FAQ by clicking this link. You can sign up to get notifications directly from Georgia's DNR and Public Health, as well as view a map of every site in George with existing site advisories at www.GaHealthyBeaches.org.

The below sections address sea and surf conditions relevant to beach goers.

TYBEE ISLAND WEATHER
The City of Tybee Island's Ocean Rescue provides seasonal Lifeguard Services between April and September, and we encourage the public to swim in life-guard protected areas. Please obey all beach rules and pay attention to our information and warnings signs. Lifeguard stands are located at North Beach, 3rd St, 10th St, 14th thru 19th St and Chatham Avenue. Lifeguard Headquarters are located at the base of the Pier/Pavilion next to the Marine Sience Center in the Strand parking lot.

Contact the Ocean Rescue staff at 912-786-9873
ABSENCE OF FLAGS DOES NOT ASSURE SAFE WATERS. ALWAYS FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS OF LIFEGUARDS. PLEASE SWIM ONLY IN AREAS WHERE A LIFEGUARD IS PRESENT. PAY ATTENTION TO THE FLAGS AT LIFE GUARD STATIONS.


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Tybee Beach Rules

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