Water-Related News

Fort De Soto waters rated among cleanest in nation

News Image

By Josh Boatwright

Photo courtesy Pinellas County

FORT DE SOTO — The waters of the Gulf of Mexico aren’t crystal clear every day at Fort De Soto, but they are among the cleanest in the nation.

Pinellas County’s unspoiled barrier island park is one of three Florida beaches that have exceeded national standards for pollutants for five years running.

Two other southern Gulf beaches, Bowman’s Beach in Sanibel and Coquina Beach South in Longboat Key, also made the list of 35 superstar beaches named by the Natural Resources Defense Council environmental group.

As a state last year, Florida ranked 13 out of 30 states with recreational beaches, with 10 percent of all water samples exceeding safety levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.