Coast News

ASBPA's Science & Technology Committee Releases White Paper on U.S. Beach Water Quality Monitoring

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s Science and Technology (S&T) Committee has released a White Paper entitled “U.S. Beach Water Quality Monitoring.” The ASBPA S&T committee serves as the organization’s guiding coalition on coastal research to affect policy decisions. 



As National Water Quality Month comes to a close, take a moment to consider how coastal water quality influences public health and the quality of our nation’s beaches.  In recent years, poor water quality has resulted in increased numbers of beach closures and corresponding negative impacts on tourism. 

Our new paper addresses some of the issues surrounding the management challenges of coastal water quality, and in particular, beach water quality monitoring.  White paper lead author Dr. Angelos Hannides, Assistant Professor of Marine Science of Coastal Carolina University, led an effort contacting water quality managers in each coastal state.  A large amount of information on beach water quality monitoring activities conducted by states was assessed and synthesized.  In total, 29 states were surveyed: 16 reported information for seawater; six reported for freshwater only; eight reported for both seawater and freshwater.  Thresholds for advisories and closure varied nationally; however, all 29 states have established an online presence for their monitoring programs and display advisories and closures in real time, most often on spatial information (GIS) portals.  



The latest issue of ASBPA’s peer-reviewed journal, Shore & Beach, includes the “U.S. Beach Water Quality Monitoring” white paper which will also be available online. If you want to better understand methodologies and communication strategies about beach water quality on a national scale, this paper serves as a resource and includes several recommendations from the S&T Committee. 



To learn more about the ASBPA Science & Technology Committee, please contact ASBPA’s Science Director, Dr. Nicole Elko

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