News Flash

Ocean Rescue

Posted on: July 28, 2020

LIFTED: Beach Advisory Issued on Tybee Island

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA – The Chatham County Health Department has Lifted a beach water

advisory for Polk Street Beach on Tybee Island. Polk Street Beach is located on the north side of

Tybee Island, from the end of the beach to the jetty.

This advisory is only for the area specified above and does not impact the other beach areas 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 collected throughout the year on Tybee Island. Samples are tested 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 originate, but some sources could include animal waste,

storm water runoff, or boating waste. When a beach is under advisory, it means the level of

bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended


The Chatham County Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in

the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from this area should be thoroughly

washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught

from any waters.

The area will be re-tested this week, and the advisory will be lifted when tests show the

bacteria levels meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards. For more

information about beach water testing, go to and click on the Environmental

Health tab at the top of the page.

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