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Manatee County’s Coquina Beach named a “superstar” for water quality

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Natural Resources Defense Council recognizes Coquina for stellar conditions

MANATEE COUNTY – The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has named Coquina Beach one of 35 superstar beaches in the United States after several years of stellar water quality results.

The news comes from NRDC’s annual report card of nearly 3,500 beach testing locations in the U.S. The report, Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches, collects and analyzes the latest water testing results from the EPA and state beach coordinators at beach testing locations nationwide. The report coincides with National Clean Beaches Week, July 1-7.

Superstar beaches are popular beaches that consistently meet water quality safety thresholds. Superstars met national water quality benchmarks 98 percent of the time over the past five years.

“This prestigious designation comes on the heels of Trip Advisor naming Anna Maria Island as one of the top three underrated beach towns in the United States,” said Charlie Hunsicker, Director of Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources. “ It’s a reflection of the years of work by Manatee County Government to protect and manage the waters in and around Anna Maria Island under the guidance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program designation for Sarasota Bay, capturing all of Anna Maria Island beaches in that designation.”

It’s not the first distinction for pristine conditions at Coquina. The National Clean Beaches Council in 2012 awarded its “Blue Wave Beach” rating to five beaches on Anna Maria Island, including Coquina Beach. The beaches were chosen based on criteria and extensive testing of water quality, beach/intertidal conditions, safety, services, animal habitat conservation and erosion management.