UPDATE March 3: The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for South Beach at the lighthouse, which is from 9th Street to the pier on St. Simons
The advisory was issued on March 2, 2021 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.
Subsequent water samples show the bacteria level has dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.
The Glynn County Health Department has issued a beach water advisory
for South Beach at the lighthouse, which is from 9th Street to the pier on St. Simons Island.
The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples at Glynn
County beaches throughout the year. The test screens for enterococcus (pronounced:
en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria, which are found in humans and some wildlife. The testing program is
not related to the capsized motor vehicle carrier in St. Simons Sound.
When a beach is under advisory, it means the level of bacteria found in the water is above the
Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards. Periodic advisories are not
unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating
The advisory does NOT mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a
possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health
Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory.
Fish and other seafood caught from the 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 the bacteria levels
meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information about beach water testing, go
to GaCHD.org and click on the Environmental Health tab at the top of the page.