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News Releases from Region 10

EPA Awards up to $9.24 Million Nationwide in Beach Water Quality Monitoring Grants

States and tribes in the Pacific Northwest & Alaska net up to $702,000 to help keep coastal waters safe for swimming

05/23/2019
Contact Information: 
Mark MacInttyre (macintyre.mark@epa.gov)
206-553-7302

Seattle, WA — As America heads into the summer beach season, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun awarding up to $9.24 million across 39 states, territories, and tribes to develop and implement beach monitoring and notification programs.

“Clean water is essential for drinking and recreation,” said Chris Hladick, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle.  “Through BEACH grants, we’re helping states and tribes make sure beachgoers stay healthy when enjoying our coastal waters. Information is power, and consistent water quality monitoring gives families the information they need to decide where to swim safely.”

Under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (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 in several ways, including by signage, posting beach warnings or closing the beach.

Since 2002, state and local governments, territories, and tribes have used nearly $167 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 address sources of water pollution that contribute to beach closures.

In the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, EPA’s 2019 BEACH Act grant funding, should all eligibility requirements be met, will be allocated as follows:  

Alaska: $150,000
Gretchen Pikul, Gretchen.pikul@alaska.gov

Alaska Department of the Environmental Conservation

Division of Water, Nonpoint Sources Section

O: 907-465-5023

Oregon:  $215,000
Aaron Borisenko, borisenko.aaron@deq.state.or.us

Water Quality Monitoring Manager

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

O: (503) 693-5723

Tara Chetock, tara.a.chetock@state.or.us

Program Coordinator

Oregon Health Authority

Public Health Division, Environmental Public Health

O: (971) 673-1496

Washington: $237,000
Julianne Ruffner  julianne.ruffner@ecy.wa.gov

BEACH Program Coordinator - WA State Departments of Ecology & Health

O:(360) 407-6154

C: (360) 480-4868

Makah Tribe: $50,000

Riley Smith, riley.smith@makah.com

Water Quality Specialist

Environmental Division

Makah Tribe

O: (360) 645-3162

C: (360) 645-0366

Ray Colby, ray.colby@makah.com

Makah Fisheries Assistant Director

O:(360) 645-2201

C: (360) 640-8201 cell

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community: $50,000

Nicole J. Casper, ncasper@swinomish.nsn.us

Water Resources Manager

Dept. of Environmental Protection

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

O: (360) 466-3374 desk

C: (360) 661-0683 cell

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.

To check on the latest closings and advisories at particular beaches, the public should contact the relevant state, tribal, or territorial beach program listed at: www.epa.gov/beaches/state-territorial-tribal-and-epa-beach-program-contacts.

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