The Oregon Governor's office just released a letter sent into federal appropriators in DC, requesting that they restore funding to the federal budget for the EPA Beach Grants Program. Authorized by the BEACH Act of 2000, the EPA grant program helps coastal states across the country fund their beach water testing and public notification programs. As many coastal states depend entirely on their beach grants to pay for their beach water testing programs, it is imperative that Congress does not let this program become a victim of federal budget wars.
The OR letter makes a request to both the Senate & House Appropriations Subcommittees for the Interior & EPA to reinstate funding for the EPA program to the currently appropriated level of $9.8 million. In the letter, Gabriela Goldfarb, Natural Resources Policy Advisor for Governor Kitzhaber outlined:
“Without continued funding, Oregon will be forced to cut its beach water quality monitoring and public health advisory programs in their entirety.”
This statement is powerful, disturbing and gives us further motivation to continue advocating for a federal investment in protecting our beaches and the milions of Americans who are enjoying them this summer.
Read more about the State's support for beach monitoring funding on Surfrider Oregon's State Blog, click here.
Background info on the proposed budget cuts available here.
Join Surfrider in asking your Congressional representatives to support beach water testing programs by clicking here.