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Fund the BEACH Act FY2023

12 • 29 • 2022

Fund the BEACH Act FY2023

Victory! EPA's BEACH Act Grants Program received increased funding in the FY2023 budget.

Regular water quality monitoring at the beach is needed to ensure that the water is clean and safe. A day at the beach should be fun and enjoyable and not cause you or your family to get sick.  

Coastal states rely on federal dollars allocated through the EPA’s BEACH Act Grants Program to help pay for their beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs. Unfortunately, funding for this critical public health program has remained nearly level at approximately $10 million for the past two decades.  Increasing costs of living over the same period have made it harder for coastal states to stretch their BEACH Act dollars to pay for their water testing programs.  State and local beach programs are forced to prioritize which beaches they test leaving many untested.  Hard choices also are made to limit the frequency of testing (i.e. weekly, biweekly or monthly) and reduce sampling seasons, leaving water quality unknown and public health unprotected at many US beaches throughout the year.

On December 29, three months into a continuing resolution, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (H.R. 2617) officially passing the federal budget for fiscal year 2023. EPA's BEACH Act program secured a $500,000 increase from last year's level, landing at $10.619 million. While Surfrider strived to get $15 million allocated to the BEACH Act, any increase to this critical water quality testing and public notification is considered a win in our book, and required a lot of work to secure! Surfrider hosted over 150 meetings with Congress throughout the year to encourage bipartisan support for the BEACH Act, and helped coastal community members submit over 1,300 letters to their federal representatives. These efforts ensured that our federal leaders knew water quality testing and public notification is a priority for their coastal constituents.