SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) -- The Natural Resources Defense Council released its annual water quality report today. The survey looks at 200 popular beach spots nationwide.
Of the six rated locally, one scored significantly lower than the others.
With higher than normal bacteria levels, the NRDC gave the Kinston access at Kinston Ave. and South Shore Drive in Surf City one out of five stars.
"It had exceedances worse than national standards last year," NRDC Senior Water Attorney Jon Devine said. "More than five percent of the time."
That could mean there's a higher chance of getting sick there then you would at other beaches.
Regular beach visitors were shocked by the study's findings.
"I don't think that's true, I'm going to be honest," Blake Wooten said.
"(I) would really like to challenge that and have them retest it if at all possible," Bill Makey said.
"It looks very clean when you are here," Jill Wooten said. "There's no trash in the ocean."
Other area beaches were also surveyed.
The Ocean Pier in Wrightsville Beach received three stars. The Ocean Pier in Kure Beach got two.
Back in Pender County the Ocean Pier in Topsail Beach got three stars.
In Brunswick County, the Ocean Pier at Causeway and 1st Street in Ocean Isle Beach got three stars. So did Sunset Beach's Ocean Pier at Main Street and Sunset Blvd.
Surf City Mayor Zander Guy was not happy to be at the bottom of the list.
"Obviously we all are concerned about the safety of our visitors as well as our residents here and have a great concern about clean water and do everything we can to make sure that that happens," Mayor Guy said.
To help lower bacteria levels at the beach the NRDC says people can pick up garbage, not feed wildlife, and clean up after their pets. A tip for boaters: don't dump sewage.