Many of America's beaches remain worryingly polluted, according to an annual report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. In total, America's beaches racked up 18,682 closure days in 2009. This year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill has accounted for 2,239 closure days. The 2009 figure represents a year-on-year decrease of about 8%, but campaigners say the reduced closure rate was due to weaker monitoring efforts rather than real improvements at the nation's beaches.
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