PHILADELPHIA (June 27, 2018) – As peak beach season arrives, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to award approximately $240,000 to Maryland to develop and implement beach monitoring and notification programs along Maryland’s shores.
“Enjoying the beach is a quintessential pastime for Americans every summer,” 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.
EPA’s Mid-Atlantic office expects to award the funds to Maryland contingent upon eligibility requirements and availability of funding.
“In addition to helping measure pollution in the water near beaches, EPA is pleased to help states, tribes, territories, and local governments inform people about the threats to beaches and opportunities to protect them,” said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Through this program, EPA is improving public access to information about the quality of water at our 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 more information about what EPA is doing to protect America’s beaches: https://www.epa.gov/beaches/learn-epas-role-protecting-beaches