02 • 25 • 2020
Fund the BEACH Act FY2021
Secure increased funding for the BEACH Act Grants Program
We all rely on regular water quality monitoring at the beach 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.
Unfortunately, massive budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are proposed by the President’s Budget proposal for FY2021 and include the complete elimination of the BEACH Act Grants program. This critical program helps coastal states pay for their beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs so beachgoers know where it is safe to surf and swim.
More than half of our coastal states, depend solely on their federal BEACH Grant to pay for their beach monitoring programs. Without this continued federal support, many states will be forced to stop testing all together, leaving residents and visitors alike, unknowingly at risk of exposure to bacteria and other disease causing pollutants. Even at historic funding levels of just under $10 million per year, every state and county run beach monitoring program is resource restricted. Local beach programs are forced to prioritize which beaches they test and to limit the frequency of testing and sampling season, leave water quality unknown and public health unprotected at many US beaches.
With more federal funding available to support this grant program, coastal states would have the resources they need start filling in these data gaps. More beaches could be tested more often so we all have access to the information we need to protect our family's health at the beach.