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Beltzville closes beach for sixth time this summer

Published August 06. 2014 08:49AM

The beach at Beltzville State Park has been closed again because of high bacteria counts in water samples. This is the sixth time this summer the beach has been closed.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources made the announcement this morning that the Carbon County beach is closed to swimming.

DCNR officials said recently because feces from molting geese were causing bacteria.

Terry Brady, deputy press secretary for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said, "Certainly there is something going on there that wasn't going on last year."

He said the Bureau of State Parks is investigating the abundance of geese around the park.

From mid-June through August, geese shed their outer wing feathers and regrow new ones, called molting.

During this period, they do not fly, and tend to gather around lakes or ponds where they are safe from most predators.

These large flocks overgraze on nearby food sources, causing an excess in excrement, which can wash into the water after heavy rainfall.

This is precisely what DCNR believes is occurring at Beltzville State Park.

When the rain is followed by hot and sunny weather, the water's temperature rises, also contributing to a change in its nutrients.

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