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Connecticut to Receive $211,500 from EPA for Beach Monitoring

Funding will support water quality and public swimming advisories

08/07/2018
Contact Information: 
John Senn (senn.john@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1019

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $211,500 to the Connecticut Department of Public Health to support beach water quality monitoring and public notification efforts throughout the state.

"Protecting Connecticut's beaches is critical to safeguarding public health and sustaining local economies, especially during the summer tourism season," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "This funding enables our partners in Connecticut to have the tools and resources they need to adequately monitor beach water quality and deliver timely information to the public."

"This grant from the EPA is an invaluable resource which allows us to ensure that our residents and visitors can swim and play at safe and healthy Connecticut beaches," said Suzanne Blancaflor, Chief of the Connecticut Department of Public Health's Environmental Health Section.

"For the future economic health of our state it is important that we protect our natural resources. Each year more than 9 million people visit Connecticut State Parks, with a significant portion of those visitors coming to our beaches," said Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee. "We appreciate the EPA's ongoing efforts to safeguard Connecticut's beaches, so that residents and tourists alike can enjoy all that our state has to offer."

EPA is making funds available to Connecticut to strengthen the state's monitoring and notification programs, and make monitoring results readily available to the public. This grant is a portion of the $1,086,000 EPA expects to award to states throughout New England for beach monitoring and reporting this year. The funding is authorized under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act.

Nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to award up to $9.3 million of total BEACH grants this year to 39 states, territories, and tribes that meet the eligibility requirements.

Under the BEACH Act, EPA awards grants to eligible state, territorial, and tribal applicants to help them and their local government partners monitor water quality at coastal and Great Lakes beaches. When bacteria levels are too high for safe swimming, these agencies notify the public by posting beach warnings or closing the beach. Since 2002, state and local governments, territories, and tribes have used more than $157 million in EPA BEACH Act grants to monitor beaches for fecal indicator bacteria, maintain and operate public notification systems, identify local pollution sources, and report results of monitoring and notification activities to EPA. Grant funding under the BEACH ACT is part of a broader EPA effort to find and eliminate sources of water pollution that contribute to beach closures.

For specific information on grants under the BEACH Act, grant guidance, and contact information for state and local beach programs, see: www.epa.gov/beach-tech/beach-grants.

Connecticut's beach monitoring data can be found at: portal.ct.gov/DPH/Environmental-Health/Recreation/Public-Beaches