Text by Christopher Percy Collier and Devon O’Neil
Illustration by Kate Miller
The lures of the beach are hard to resist come summer. But this season a raft of perils (Shark attacks! Riptides! Jellyfish invasions!) seems poised to storm the coast and shift the action from surfing and sea kayaking to chicken fights and Marco Polo at the community pool. Last year, in fact, saw more than 25,000 beach closings or swimming advisories—a 28 percent increase from 2006, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. What’s more alarming is that an estimated seven million people get sick every year after visiting the nation’s 3,500 beaches. But that’s no reason to forsake the sand. Here, what the experts say is lurking out there–and what you can do to maximize your time in the sun.
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