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EPA Plans to Award up to $9.3 Million in Beach Water Quality Monitoring Grants

Local BEACH Act grants totaling $708K will help keep Northwest families safe at the seaside this summer

06/27/2018
Contact Information: 
Mark MacIntyre (macintyre.mark@epa.gov)
206-553-7302

(Seattle)  –  As peak beach season arrives in the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to award up to $9.3 million in total to 39 states, territories, and tribes to develop and implement beach monitoring and notification programs

“Enjoying the beach is a quintessential summer pastime for Americans,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Through EPA’s BEACH grants, we are ensuring communities across the country can keep their beaches safe and enjoyable for all.”

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 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.

In the Northwest, EPA expects to award following amounts, based on eligibility, to these states and tribes:

Alaska                                      $150,000

Oregon                                    $217,000

Washington                             $241,000

Swinomish Tribe                     $50,000

Makah Tribe                            $50,000

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.

EPA’s National Press Release:  https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-plans-award-93-million-beach-water-quality-monitoring-grants

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