2019 Beach Season: Keeping track of beach, lake, and pond closures (Updating List)

Second Beach in Middletown

Throughout the summer season the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) will recommend closing the state’s licensed beach facilities, most of the time it’s due to high bacteria counts, harmful algae blooms, or for other reasons.

Historically, beach closures in Rhode Island have been closely tied to precipitation. According to RIDOH, stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces transports contamination (including bacteria) to our fresh and salt-water bodies.

RIDOH continues to monitor and review beach water quality regularly to ensure safe bathing throughout the summer season. The status of a beach may change on a daily basis. The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751).

This is an updating list/live blog and will be updated as updates come in on beach closures and openings. The most recent post will appear first.

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July 11th

RIDOH Recommends Re-Opening Watchaug Pond for Swimming

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends re-opening Camp Watchaug and Burlingame Picnic Area, both on Watchaug Pond in Charlestown, for swimming since bacteria counts there have returned to acceptable levels.

RIDOH will continue to monitor and review beach water quality regularly to ensure safe bathing throughout the summer season. The status of a beach may change on a daily basis. The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751).

July 10th

Blue-Green Algae Bloom in Georgiaville Pond in Smithfield
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are advising people to avoid contact with Georgiaville Pond in Smithfield due to a blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) bloom in the pond. Blue-green algae can produce toxins, including microcystins, that can harm humans and animals.

All recreation, including swimming, fishing, boating and kayaking, should be avoided. People should not ingest water or eat fish from Georgiaville Pond. Pets can also be affected by exposure to the algal toxins and thus owners should not allow pets to drink or swim in the water. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Skin contact with water containing blue-green algae commonly causes irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, and/or throat. Common health effects associated with ingesting water containing algal toxins include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Rarer health effects include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage. Young children and pets are at a particular risk for health effects associated with algal toxins. People who have had contact with these ponds and experience those symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.

If you come into contact with the water, rinse your skin with clean water as soon as possible and, when you get home, take a shower and wash your clothes. Similarly, if your pet comes into contact with the water, immediately wash your pet with clean water. Do not let the animal lick algae off its fur. Call a veterinarian if your animal shows any symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning, including loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after being in contact with water. People are cautioned that toxins may persist in the water after the blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.

It is possible that blue-green algae blooms may be affecting other waterbodies in Rhode Island. People are advised to avoid contact with waterbodies that exhibit bright green coloration in the water or at the water surface and/or dense floating algal mats that form on the water’s surface. The water may look like green paint, thick pea soup, or green cottage cheese. To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact DEM’s Office of Water Resources at 222-4700 or DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov and if possible, send a photograph of the reported algae bloom.

July 10th

RIDOH Recommends Closing Two Beaches on Watchaug Pond in Charlestown
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends closing the beaches at YMCA Camp Watchaug and nearby Burlingame Picnic Area in Charlestown for swimming because of high bacteria levels.

RIDOH will continue to monitor and review beach water quality regularly to ensure safe bathing throughout the summer season. The status of a beach may change on a daily basis. The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751).

2019 Beach Season Closures

BeachCity/TownClosed OnRe-OpenedNumber of Days Closed
2019 Statewide (for bacteria)    
Third BeachMiddletown5/29/20195/31/20192
Barrington Town BeachBarrington6/6/20196/7/20191
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/11/20196/19/198
Grinell’s BeachTiverton6/19/20196/21/20192
King Park BeachNewport6/20/20196/21/20191
Third BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Peabody’s BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/20/20196/25/20195
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/21/20196/23/20192
Fort Adams BeachNewport6/22/20196/26/20194
Camp AquapaugWest Kingston6/24/20196/25/20191
Kent County YMCA Lower and Upper PondsWarwick6/24/20196/25/20191
Ginny B’s CampgroundFoster6/26/20196/28/20192
Third BeachMiddletown6/27/20196/28/20191
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/27/20196/29/20192
Camp WatchaugCharlestown7/8/19  
Burlingame State Park Picnic AreaCharlestown7/10/2019

July 2nd at 5:45 pm

RIDOH and DEM Recommend Avoiding Contact with Melville Pond
 The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are advising people to avoid contact with Melville Pond in Portsmouth due to a blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) bloom in the pond. Blue-green algae can produce toxins that can harm humans and animals.

People should also be careful not to ingest water or eat fish from the pond. All recreation, including fishing, boating, and kayaking, should be avoided. Pets can also be affected by exposure to the algal toxins, so owners should not allow pets to drink or swim in the water. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Skin contact with water containing blue-green algae commonly causes irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, and/or throat. Common health effects associated with ingesting water containing algal toxins include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Rarer health effects include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage. Young children and pets are at a particular risk for health effects associated with algal toxins. People who have had contact with Melville Pond and experience those symptoms should contact their healthcare provider.

If you come into contact with the water, rinse your skin with clean water as soon as possible and, when you get home, take a shower and wash your clothes. Similarly, if your pet comes into contact with the water, immediately wash your pet with clean water. Do not let the animal lick algae off its fur. Call a veterinarian if your animal shows any symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning, including loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after being in contact with water. People are cautioned that toxins may persist in the water after the blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.

It is possible that blue-green algae blooms may be affecting other waterbodies in Rhode Island. People are advised to avoid contact with waterbodies that exhibit bright green coloration in the water or at the water surface and/or dense floating algal mats that form on the water’s surface. The water may look like green paint, thick pea soup, or green cottage cheese. To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact DEM’s Office of Water Resources at 222-4700 or DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov and if possible, send a photograph of the reported algae bloom.

2019 Beach Season Closures

BeachCity/TownClosed OnRe-OpenedNumber of Days Closed
2019 Statewide (for bacteria)    
Third BeachMiddletown5/29/20195/31/20192
Barrington Town BeachBarrington6/6/20196/7/20191
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/11/20196/19/198
Grinell’s BeachTiverton6/19/20196/21/20192
King Park BeachNewport6/20/20196/21/20191
Third BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Peabody’s BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/20/20196/25/20195
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/21/20196/23/20192
Fort Adams BeachNewport6/22/20196/26/20194
Camp AquapaugWest Kingston6/24/20196/25/20191
Kent County YMCA Lower and Upper PondsWarwick6/24/20196/25/20191
Ginny B’s CampgroundFoster6/26/20196/28/20192
Third BeachMiddletown6/27/20196/28/20191
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/27/20196/29/20192

June 29th at 12 pm

RIDOH Recommends Re-Opening Three Beaches/ RIDOH Recommends Reopening Sandy Point Beach in Portsmouth, Third Beach in Middletown, and Ginny B’s Beach in Foster

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends re-opening Third Beach in Middletown, Sandy Point Beach in Portsmouth, and the beach in Ginny B’s Campground in Foster for swimming because bacteria has returned to acceptable levels.

June 27th at 5:30 pm

RIDOH Recommends Closing Two Aquidneck Island Beaches

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends closing Third Beach in Middletown and Sandy Point Beach in Portsmouth because of high bacteria levels. The beach at Ginny B’s Campground in Foster remain closed, awaiting new test results.

RIDOH will continue to monitor and review beach water quality regularly to ensure safe bathing throughout the summer season. The status of a beach may change on a daily basis. The most up-to-date beach information is available through a recorded message on RIDOH’s beaches telephone line (401-222-2751).

2019 Beach Season Closures

BeachCity/TownClosed OnRe-OpenedNumber of Days Closed
2019 Statewide (for bacteria)    
Third BeachMiddletown5/29/20195/31/20192
Barrington Town BeachBarrington6/6/20196/7/20191
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/11/20196/19/198
Grinell’s BeachTiverton6/19/20196/21/20192
King Park BeachNewport6/20/20196/21/20191
Third BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Peabody’s BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/20/20196/25/20195
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/21/20196/23/20192
Fort Adams BeachNewport6/22/20196/26/20194
Camp AquapaugWest Kingston6/24/20196/25/20191
Kent County YMCA Lower and Upper PondsWarwick6/24/20196/25/20191
Ginny B’s CampgroundFoster6/26/2019  
Third BeachMiddletown6/27/2019  
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/27/2019  

June 26th, 2019 at 4:30 pm

RIDOH announced today that they have recommended re-opening Fort Adams State Park Beach in Newport since bacteria counts there have returned to acceptable levels.

Fort Adams Beach was closed on June 22nd and has been closed for four days so far this season.

RIDOH recommends closing Ginny B’s Campground Beach in Foster because of high bacteria levels.

All other beaches across the state are open/have reopened.

2019 Beach Season Closures

BeachCity/TownClosed OnRe-OpenedNumber of Days Closed
2019 Statewide (for bacteria)    
Third BeachMiddletown5/29/20195/31/20192
Barrington Town BeachBarrington6/6/20196/7/20191
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/11/20196/19/198
Grinell’s BeachTiverton6/19/20196/21/20192
King Park BeachNewport6/20/20196/21/20191
Third BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Peabody’s BeachMiddletown6/20/20196/21/20191
Sandy Point BeachPortsmouth6/20/20196/25/20195
Spring Lake BeachBurrillville6/21/20196/23/20192
Fort Adams BeachNewport6/22/20196/26/20194
Camp AquapaugWest Kingston6/24/20196/25/20191
Kent County YMCA Lower and Upper PondsWarwick6/24/20196/25/20191
Ginny B’s CampgroundFoster6/26/2019  

June 25th

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) recommends re-opening Sandy Point Beach in Portsmouth, Kent County YMCA Upper and Lower Ponds in Warwick and Aquapaug Scout Reservation in West Kingston for swimming because bacteria has returned to acceptable levels.

Fort Adams in Newport remains closed for swimming because of high bacteria levels.


June 21st

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced just after 4 pm today that they have recommended re-opening King Park Beach in Newport, Third Beach and Peabody’s Beach in Middletown, and Grinnell’s Beach in Tiverton since bacteria counts there have returned to acceptable levels. Sandy Point Beach in Portsmouth and Spring Lake Beach in Burrellville remain closed for swimming.  


June 21st

RIDOH & DEM remind Rhode Islanders about Algae Blooms

With the weather turning warmer and recreational activities on Rhode Island’s lakes, ponds, and rivers increasing, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are reminding everyone to be on the lookout for harmful algae blooms on these bodies of water.

Harmful algae blooms caused by blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, are characterized by shades of bright to dark green and may have dense, floating algal mats on the water’s surface. The water may look like green paint, thick pea soup, or green cottage cheese.  Increased temperatures, slow moving water, and excessive amounts of nutrients cause the cyanobacteria to grow quickly and can create colonies of growth called a bloom. Harmful algae blooms are capable of producing toxins, which have the potential to negatively impact humans and animals.

During a harmful algae bloom, all recreation, including swimming, fishing, boating, and kayaking, should be avoided. People should not ingest untreated water or eat fish from affected bodies of water. Pets should not be allowed to drink or swim in this water.

Contact with water containing blue-green algae can cause irritation of the skin, nose, eyes, and/or throat. Common health effects associated with ingesting water containing blue-green algae include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Rarer health effects include dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage. If you come into contact with water affected by a harmful algae bloom, rinse your skin with clean water as soon as possible and, when you get home, take a shower and wash your clothes. If your pet comes into contact with the water, immediately wash your pet with clean water. Do not let the animal lick algae off its fur. Call a veterinarian if your animal shows any symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning including loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after being in contact with water.

People who have had contact with water with algae blooms and who experience the symptoms described above should contact a healthcare provider and call RIDOH at 401-222-7727 to report illness associated with a blue-green algae bloom.

To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact DEM’s Office of Water Resources at 401-222-4700 or DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov and if possible, send a photograph of the reported algae bloom.


May 31st

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) officials announced this afternoon that they have recommended reopening Third Beach in Middletown for swimming, after closing it on Thursday due to high bacteria counts.


May 30th

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced this morning that they have recommended closing Third Beach in Middletown for swimming because of high bacteria levels.

For more information and updates, you can also visit http://health.ri.gov/beaches/ .

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