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Think healthy. Swim healthy. Practice healthy beach habits!

Current Conditions

Healthy Beach Habits
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To report an algae bloom or fish kill please contact Chesapeake Bay Safety and Environmental Hotline (877) 244-7229 or Maryland Emergency Management Hotline (866) 633-4686.
Maryland is famous for its pristine beaches and healthy swimming waters. Here are some things you can do to help keep it that way!

How to help prevent water-related illnesses:

  • Be sure to avoid swimming near storm drains along the beach and within 48 hours of a heavy rain event, or until the water clears.
  • Try not to swallow beach water.
  • Shower or bathe after swimming.
  • Dogs may not be allowed at some beaches. Please check before you go. If you bring a pet to the beach, dispose of its waste properly (bring small plastic bags with you.)
  • You should avoid swimming if you feel ill or have open cuts or sores. If water contact canít be avoided, cover your open cut or sore with waterproof bandages.
  • If they are available, use diaper-changing stations in restroom facilities, or change diapers away from the watersí edge.
  • Remember to properly dispose of used diapers.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
  • Please take all trash with you offsite in a bag.
  • Volunteer in local beach clean up efforts.
  • Remember not to feed seagulls or other wildlife.
  • When boating, you should use an approved marina pump-out station for boat waste disposal.
  • If you see any unsafe or unhealthy conditions, be sure to report them to a lifeguard or beach manager.
  • Remember to check the Current Conditions page on, or your county website, for water quality information about your beach..
© 2008 Maryland Department of the Environment and Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Maryland Department of the Environment / Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene / US Environmental Protection Agency