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Planning a trip to the beach this summer?  Make sure you pick a safe one. Aren’t all beaches safe, you ask? Unfortunately no. In fact, there were 24,091 beach closings andadvisories due to water quality issues in the U.S. in 2010. Various issues, from bacteria coming from contaminated stormwater to last year’s oil spill in the Gulf, contributed to that near record-breaking number.

To find out about water conditions at your favorite beach spot, check out NRDC’s 21st annual Testing The Waters report. It contains everything you’ll need to know. There’s an interactive map, astate-by-state breakdown of popular beaches, and even a beach ratings guide.

As you pack up for the perfect sandy point, rememberto protect your skin with the right sunscreen. This handy guide will direct you to the best.

To learn more about the threats to ournation’s beaches  and how we can all worktowards keeping them open for the safe enjoyment of us all, read “Testing The Waters.”