Date of Award

December 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jin Li

Committee Members

Ching-Hong Yang, Qian Liao


Research into the causes of bacterial contamination of recreational beaches has been increasing. Many researchers are now looking to enumerate bacteria from beach sands in order to find the connections between the water and sand quality. As the number of these studies increase, there is a need to determine a standard procedure for enumerating bacteria from sand. The eluent that a researcher chooses could impact the results that they obtain due to ionic strength. The first part of this paper compares the E. coli and Enterococci counts of identical sand samples using phosphate buffered saline and distilled water as eluents. The second half of this paper analyzes the role of Cladophora in the seasonal change of E. coli and Enterococci levels in the recreational beach environment.