FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — A health advisory has been issued by the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa) for Garniers Beach Park and Liza Jackson Park in Fort Walton Beach, Emerald Promenade and Brackin Wayside Park on Okaloosa Island, Poquito Park in Shalimar, and Marler Park, and Clement E. Taylor Park in Destin.
The health advisories are based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards for enterococci, DOH-Okaloosa said.
According to DOH-Okaloosa, this should be considered a potential health risk to the bathing public.
The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County conducts bi-weekly saltwater beach water quality monitoring at 11 sites through the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program.
Samples are collected from March through the end of October. The water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria (enterococci) that normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals and may cause human disease, infections, or rashes.
The presence of enteric bacteria indicates fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets and wildlife, and human sewage.
If you have questions, contact DOH-Okaloosa at (850) 833-9247 or (850) 689-7859. Here is a list of Okaloosa County’s Healthy Beaches sites, sampling results, and maps.