12 • 29 • 2020
BEACH Act Funding Saved for FY2021
The federal budget for FY 2021 passed by Congress and signed by the President includes critical funding for the EPA BEACH Grant Program and other EPA clean water programs.
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.
Fortunately, massive budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed by the President’s Budget proposal for 2021, including the complete elimination of the BEACH Act Grants program, were not included in the final budget deal approved by Congress and signed by the President. 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.
The Surfrider Foundation led a national campaign to save funding for the BEACH Act that engaged coalition partners, communities and businesses across the country. During our Coastal Recreation Hill Day event in February, 2020, Surfrider visited 125 congressional offices to advocate for the BEACH Act program and other key federal priorities.
Surfrider is thankful that Congress once again appropriated sufficient funding to the EPA so that it can continue to do its job of protecting the environment and public health.