While the House of Representatives released a draft bill this summer that agreed with the President's budget for FY2014 by eliminating all funding for the EPA Beach Grant program, the Senate's proposal is more favorable. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for the Interior & the Environment, chaired by Senator Reed from RI, released their draft bill this past week and proposed to restore funding for this critical EPA program. View the Senate draft bill and explanatory statement online.
The EPA Beach Grant program provides assistance to all coastal states to help them pay for their beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs. Without continued funding for this program, we will surely see less testing happening at the beach and people will not have the information they need to decide if a day at the beach could make them sick or not. Read more history on this funding issue and the beach grant program here.
We will continue to try to build support for beach water testing programs as summer ends and Congress returns to DC to continue their negotiations over the federal budget. Join Surfrider in asking your Congressional representatives to support beach water testing programs by clicking here.
Below, watch a brief (2.5 min) video of Senator Reed and the Director of the RI Dept. of Envionmental Management speaking of the value of beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs.