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Data and Reports about Beach Health

Photo of EPA scientists discussing water quality data

Annual Swimming Season Statistics Search EPA Archive
From 1999 through 2012, the EPA published national summary reports about beach advisories and closings to help beachgoers make informed decisions about swimming at U.S. Coastal and Great Lakes beaches. These reports along with state-by-state data are available in the EPA Archive.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

On this page:

Data

  • BEACON—Beach Advisory and Water Quality Data
    EPA created the Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification (BEACON) system to meet the Agency's requirement to provide to the public a database of pollution occurrences for coastal recreation waters. BEACON contains state-reported beach monitoring and notification data. EPA recently updated BEACON to include several enhancements and has named the new system BEACON 2.0.
    • The BEACON 2.0 User's Guide describes how to use the online BEACON 2.0 system to obtain state-reported beach monitoring and notification data.
    • The Submitting Data to EPA page provides resources and reference materials for state beach program managers and IT staff responsible for submitting beach monitoring (water quality), notification (advisory and closing), and beach location data to EPA as required by the BEACH Act.
     

Reports

Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000: 2018 Report to Congress

On September 6, 2018, EPA submitted to Congress the BEACH Act of 2000: 2018 Report to Congress as required by Section 7 of the BEACH Act (33 U.S.C. 1375(a)).

EPA Has Not Reported to Congress on BEACH Act Progress as Statutorily Required or Fully Documented Budget Decisions

This report by the EPA’s Office of Inspector General evaluates how EPA grants provided under the BEACH Act assist states, territories and tribes in monitoring the water quality of coastal recreation waters and notifying the public of contamination events.

2016 Recreational Waters Conference

In April 2016, the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology hosted a Recreational Waters Conference on:

  • Beach monitoring,
  • Beach notification, and
  • Implementation tools for the 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria

EPA sponsored the national Recreational Waters Conference to bring together public health and environmental professionals from states, tribes, territories, the federal government, academic researchers, and other stakeholders to discuss the wide-ranging issues related to human health in waters used for recreation (e.g., swimming at beaches).

Approximately 250 federal, state, local government and other stakeholders attended the conference. The conference included a pre-conference session with presentations on sanitary surveys, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) laboratory techniques, and predictive modeling; 10 sessions covering a range of topics related to recreational waters; and a poster session. 

If you have questions about the conference, please email Tracy Bone (bone.tracy@epa.gov) or call (202) 564-5257.


National List of Beaches

EPA maintains a list of coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches (or similar points of access) used by the public in the U.S. The list, required by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act), identifies waters that are subject to a state beach water quality monitoring and public notification program consistent with the National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for BEACH Act Grants. The list contains the most recent information reported to EPA by coastal and Great Lakes states, territories, and eligible tribes.

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