While the Parks Department's solution to the city's garbage is a giant Dumpster amongst the trees, the same thing can't quite help our water. The Daily News has a report card on our beaches, and of the 13 rated in the annual "Testing the Water" guide... things aren't looking so good.
Ratings are based on water quality, testing frequency as well as frequency of advisories issued by the Health Department. Orchard and Manhattan beaches were the lowest rated, and following those are South Beach on Staten Island and Kingsborough Community College Beach in Brooklyn. The good news is that "the majority of Coney Island's sandy shores and the Rockaways were given a clean bill of health." The bad news is that out of a 5-star rating system, every New York spot got 3 or less.
If the sand didn't scare you away, and the subpar ratings won't keep you from your summer dips, you may want to at least hear out the NRDC's Ocean Initiative director, Sarah Chasis. He tells the paper: "Every time it rains in New York ... [the rainwater] flows into the same pipes that carry waste water from homes and buildings. When the water level exceeds what sewage treatment plants can handle, it flows straight into our water." But hey, it's not like it's been raining much this summer... oh wait.