Who arrives at the beach of São Francisco, in São Sebastião, in the north coast of São Paulo, you may not even imagine that it is not suitable for bathing. Fishing boats and short trips adorn the sea with Ilhabela in the background and the waves arrive gently, in an ideal setting to relax.
Just get a little closer to the water, however, to find it uninviting for diving, with a dirty appearance. The red flag of Cetesb (an environmental company from São Paulo) at the site also warns of the risk.
Like her, evaluated as bad, there are other beaches in São Paulo who spent the period from November last year to October more unsuitable than suitable for bathing.
the beaches of Sao Pauloin general, declined in the quality of bathing in the analyzed interval, according to an annual survey carried out by Sheet based on data from the state environmental agency.
While good beaches throughout the year plummeted, the state saw an increase, both on the north coast and in Baixada Santista, the total number of beaches considered fair or bad.
Of the 178 points evaluated by Cetesb —most of them weekly—, 44 were suitable for bathing every week between November 2021 and October of this year, compared to 59 in the same previous period.
Meanwhile, the beaches rated as fair rose from 61 to 80 and the worst, from 14 to 18.
Another 33 points were evaluated as bad in the two years — in 2021, however, 11 points were not measured due to the pandemic of Covid-1compared to three this year.
For the manager of the coastal waters sector at Cetesb, Claudia Lamparelli, the bathing scenario on São Paulo beaches was due to a very complicated first half, with improvement in recent months.
“The number of unsuitable beaches is lower now, the last few months have been drier. In the first half, we had a lot of rain in April and early May, which meant that we were left with some unsuitable beaches, which are not normally found,” he said. .
On the beach in São Francisco, in the central region of São Sebastião, it wasn’t always bad, said engineer Daniela Roe, 43. “I was born here and I come once a year. It’s changed a lot, it’s more polluted than it used to be.”
“The boats were limited. Over the years, it increased, which is normal, because the people need to work. It’s more a question of organization. The water is dark also because of the tide, but the boats contribute”, stated Daniela .
In São Sebastião, of the 18 good beaches in the previous year (suitable for bathing all year round, without exception), the total dropped to 12. The regular ones rose from 8 to 13, while the bad ones remained at four in both years.
In 2021, there was no bad beach in the city, since it is now occupied by the beach of São Francisco, where the report saw sweepers cleaning the sand on the morning of the last day 15.
In other cities on the north coast, the picture also got worse: in Caraguatatuba, the total number of good beaches fell from 6 to 4. In Ilhabela, only one beach was good this year, compared to three last year (regular ones rose from 10 to 13 ). In Ubatuba, 16 points that were good in 2021 were reduced to seven (there are nine other good ones now, but which were not evaluated in 2021).
According to sailor Nélio de Oliveira Silva, 50, there are times when it is possible to enter the sea. “When it’s windy from the east, the water is very dirty. But when it’s windy from the south, it’s clean, you can take a shower.”
However, he said he recognizes that the purpose of that strip of sand is not so much recreation. “This is more for work.”
Lamparelli stated that 2021 was a year drier than the historical average, which helps to explain having more beaches of its own than this year, and that the last few weeks have been conducive to predicting a good summer in terms of bathing.
“There were 17 improper conditions on November 27 and 13 on December 4. It is a very good condition even for the month of December. If it continues like this, the prognosis is good [para a virada do ano e janeiro].”
The orientation for bathers is that they use the Cetesb app when they arrive at the beaches to check the quality of the place where they intend to enjoy the sea. Another option is to look for the Cetesb flag on site. If it is red, the beach is unsuitable for swimming.
“The app is the easiest, because it is simple and shows the user the situation not only of the beach he wants to go to, but of all the ones in the city and on the coast”, stated Lamparelli.
Already Baixada Santistathe beaches performed poorly in the 12 months analyzed by Sheet.
Mongaguá had, for the second year in a row, all seven monitored points bad, which means that between 25% and 50% of the measurements were unsuitable for bathing.
Em Santosthe seven points evaluated by Cetesb were terrible, with inadequacies in more than 50% of the measurements.
In Praia Grande, 3 of the 12 points monitored were very bad, while another six were bad and three were regular.
The year was also marked by the comprehensive measurement of bathing conditions on the beaches. In periods of 2020 and 2021 there was no weekly measurement due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 —beaches were closed.
With the 2022 result, the beaches of São Paulo are similar to the level recorded in 2019, the last year with year-round measurements. That year, there were 42 good beaches, with 72 fair, 34 bad, and 29 bad—one point was not measured that year.