Updates, Beach Act, Water Quality, Public Notification
March 07 2016

Take Action for Healthy Beaches

by Mara Dias

Water testing programs protect public health at the beach

Wouldn't you want to know if the water at the beach was polluted and a dip in the ocean could result in a stomach bug, skin rash, respiratory infection or worse? 

Wouldn't you want to have the information available that lets you and your family know where it is safe to get into the water, and where the pollution problems are so they can be fixed?

That is exactly what the beach water quality testing programs do that are funded through the federal BEACH Act.  The EPA BEACH Act grants program helps states and counties pay for water quality monitoring and public notification programs at your beach. Without this funding, we will have less information available on where it is safe to go into the water.  Beach water testing programs will completely shut down in many states, and you could be at risk of getting sick at the beach with no warning whatsoever. 

Despite this, President Obama’s Administration has just proposed for the fifth year in a row to eliminate all federal funding for the BEACH Act.   Given the government’s recent failure to protect the citizens of Flint, Michigan from unhealthy, contaminated water, we were hoping for better this year.

Surfrider will continue to work to build support in Congress to fund water testing programs at your beach and at beaches around the country, but we need your help.  Senators Menendez (NJ), Nelson (FL) and Merkley (OR) are leading a letter to request continued funding for the BEACH Act in the FY2017 budget.  Similar efforts are being made by Representatives Pallone (NJ) and Capps (CA) in the House, and we need as many signatures on these funding request letters as possible to show strong Congressional support for healthy beaches.

Will you help by sending an email to your representatives in Congress asking them to join in this show of support for BEACH Act fundng? Just click here to send your email.

We know we will have work to do as a new Administration takes over after the national elections later this year to regain support for healthy beaches so we don't have to keep fighting this funding battle every year. It's imperative that we go into that conversation with a good show of support for the BEACH Act from Congress and beach-goers across the US.

Learn more about Surfrider's campaign to Restore BEACH Act Funding here.