On Monday, February 2, 2015, President Obama released his budget for Fiscal Year 2016. Although the FY 2016 proposal to fund the EPA is $450 million higher than last year's enacted amount, it still fails to allocate even a single dollar for the EPA BEACH Grant program that supports beach water testing programs in states across the country. This is the fourth year in a row the President's Budget has proposed to eliminate this critical public health program. Ironically enough, the top three selling points that the EPA Administration is making to justify their budget request include:
- The President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request for EPA demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to protecting public health and the environment.
- Investments in public health and environmental protection pay off...
- The largest part of EPA’s budget, $3.6 billion or 42%, goes to fund our work with our state and tribal partners—because EPA shares the responsibility of protecting public health and the environment with states, tribes, and local communities.
The Surfrider Foundation wishes that the EPA would recognize that their shared responsibility for protecting public health does not stop at the beach.
Strong support in the Senate has saved funding for the EPA BEACH Grant program the last three years, but we fear that it may be more difficult to restore this funding item this year given the newly elected Congress and new majority in the Senate. But stay tuned....
Surfrider will continue to fight for your right to know if a day at the beach will make you sick, and we'll let you know how you can help!
Learn more about the real impacts that this bad financial decision could have at your beach here.