GLRI Beach Sanitary Survey Projects
Beach sanitary surveys
Routine beach sanitary survey data will be entered by GLRI beach sanitary survey grantees after water quality samples are taken.
Annual sanitary survey data will be entered at the end of the season.
The beach and watershed information provide a snapshot of the overall health of the beach to help beach managers plan for water quality improvements.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The GLRI awarded more than $13 million in grants that focus on beach-related activities. Some of the grants were awarded for projects to identify sources of contamination at Great Lakes beaches and implement actions to reduce or remove the contamination.
Contamination sources are identified using routine and annual beach sanitary surveys which were developed by a team of state and Federal beach management entities. The sanitary surveys were developed to help beach managers synthesize all contributing beach and watershed information, including water quality data, pollutant source data, and land use data - to improve water quality for swimming.
Forty-three projects were funded to assess sources of contamination affecting 521 Great Lakes beaches. Several of the projects also involve mitigating the contamination sources, including waterfowl management, replacing impervious pavement with permeable materials, and managing wet weather through green infrastructure approaches such as green roofs and rain gardens. EPA is monitoring the progress of these projects, and will house the data collected with the sanitary surveys, with the BeachGuard database.
This information will be of great value to grantees, to EPA and to many entities around the Great Lakes to develop predictive or forecast models to estimate beach water quality, to track sources of pollution affecting beaches around the Great Lakes, to collect information on the types of mitigation measures being implemented at Great Lakes beaches to reduce or eliminate the pollution sources identified with the sanitary surveys, and to measure the success of the mitigation measures through improvements in water quality.