Environmental Policy News

EPA to Award Funding to Support Water Quality Monitoring and Protect the Health of Beachgoers

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $9.75 million in grant funding to help coastal and Great Lakes communities protect the health of beachgoers. The funding will assist many states, Tribes, and territories in conducting water quality monitoring and public notification programs for their beaches.

“Every summer, Americans flock to oceanside and Great Lakes beaches to enjoy recreation time with family and friends, making these important destinations as well as economic and tourism engines for our economy,” said Acting EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott. “Protecting water quality at beaches is a priority for EPA, and with these grants, we are helping our state, Tribal, and local partners monitor water quality to ensure it is safe for residents and visitors.”

Under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act, the EPA awards grants to eligible state, Tribal, and territorial 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 advisories or closings.

Since 2001, the EPA has awarded nearly $230 million in BEACH Act grants to test beach waters for illness-causing bacteria, identify the sources of pollution problems, and help notify the public. Three factors influenced the EPA’s allocations for the 2024 grant amounts: (1) the length of the beach season, (2) the number of miles of shoreline, and (3) the populations of coastal counties.

To be eligible for BEACH Act grants, states, Tribes, and territories must have coastal and Great Lakes recreational waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access used by the public. They must also have a water quality standards program and EPA-approved numeric recreational water quality standards for coastal waters. Additionally, eligible entities must meet 11 performance criteria for implementing monitoring, assessment, and notification components of the beach program.

The EPA’s 2024 BEACH Act grant funding will be allocated to the following states, Tribes, and territories contingent upon their meeting the eligibility requirements:

EPA Region 1

Connecticut $206,000

Maine $254,000

Massachusetts $254,000

New Hampshire $194,000

Rhode Island $210,000

EPA Region 2

New Jersey $258,000

New York $315,000

Puerto Rico $319,000

US Virgin Islands $302,000

EPA Region 3

Delaware $209,000

Maryland $258,000

Pennsylvania $214,000

Virginia $263,000

EPA Region 4

Alabama $260,000

Florida $478,000

Georgia $279,000

Mississippi $256,000

North Carolina $293,000

South Carolina $289,000

EPA Region 5

Illinois $232,000

Indiana $205,000

Michigan $260,000

Minnesota $203,000

Ohio $216,000

Wisconsin $220,000

Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians $50,000

Grand Portage Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe $50,000

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community $50,000

EPA Region 6

Louisiana $347,000

Texas $373,000

EPA Region 9

American Samoa $302,000

California $477,000

Guam $302,000

Hawaii $319,000

Northern Mariana Islands $303,000

EPA Region 10

Alaska $161,029

Oregon $235,103

Washington $280,192

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community $53,676

Learn more about the BEACH Act grants.

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