HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — It was back to business as usual Thursday morning at the Cove Beach section of Lake Lenape after the strand was closed due to high bacteria counts.

Lifeguards started their day in the shade of a pavilion, walking into the sun to deploy red umbrellas on and in front of high wooden stands. They declined to comment about the closing but said the day might start off slow if beachgoers didn’t know the area had reopened.

Bathers began trickling in before noon.

“I’m not concerned,” said Camille Sanchirico, of Mays Landing. “The heat causes (the bacteria), but since we have had cooler nights, that helps.”

Officials closed the beach Tuesday, with police citing elevated bacteria levels that may have been caused by recent hot and humid weather. The beach is usually closed on Wednesdays. Ingrid Perez, project manager for the township who also runs the Cove Beach, said E. coli bacteria were found in the lake, but it has since been cleared for swimming.

Sanchirico, who’s retired and has been visiting the beach regularly for more than 15 years, said there have been closings for bacteria over the years, but after the water is cleared, she always comes back.

“I like that the boats come and make waves,” she said while sitting in her beach chair, her feet in the water. “It has sand, sea gulls, everything.”

Also at the beach was Debbie Shurig, who was there with her three grandsons. Like Sanchirico, they come to the beach often and missed it when it was closed.

“We’re excited to be back,” said Shurig, of Weymouth Township. “It’s the nicest place to come.”

Shurig said closings happen from time to time but “they clean it up” and reopen.

“It doesn’t bother me,” she said.

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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