The beaches of Louisiana are beautiful in their own special way. They certainly do not boast the sugar white sand and blue glass high rises of the Redneck Riviera but there is a very unique charm to what we call beaches in the Bayou State.

I don't think anyone is totally surprised by the news that our beaches don't rank that highly on any national or international survey. Perhaps we should be concerned by the latest report that shows the beaches in our state rank #26 out of 30 states for beach water quality.

Tenny Sibley is the Sanitarian Director for the Department of Health and Hospitals and she told the Louisiana Radio Network why our beaches score so low,

"Louisiana has a tremendous amount of wildlife along the coast, lots of fowl, birds defecating over the water which is a contaminant. We have a lot of boaters throwing waster overboard."

While our beaches might not score as highly as some of the other beaches in the country, this does not mean Louisiana beaches are not safe for recreation.

"Any natural body of water is going to have bacteria in the water, there is nothing you can do about it. It's there and you just need to be aware of it and take precautions."

Sibley says the contaminates from wildlife cannot be avoided. The contamination from the human element can certainly be curtailed. Boaters and those who use the coastal waters are reminded to dispose of the waste they generate properly. That small step could great improve the quality of water along our coastal shore.