EPA Awards $258,000: New Jersey Beach Water Quality Monitoring

June 24, 2024
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EPA Makes a Splash with Award of $258,000 to New Jersey to Support Water Quality Monitoring at Beaches to Protect Public Health

June 20, 2024 NEW YORK – Today at Bradley Beach, NJ, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia announced $258,000 in grant funding to help New Jersey ’s coastal communities protect the health of beachgoers. She was joined by Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., Ranking Member of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, Shawn LaTourette, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox and other dignitaries. The funding will assist New Jersey in conducting water quality monitoring and public notification programs for their beaches.

“This funding helps keep beaches and coastal waters clean so that people can have fun, relax and enjoy all the beauty that New Jersey coastlines have to offer,” said Lisa F. Garcia, Regional Administrator. “EPA funding is vital for successful beach monitoring and notification programs.”

Lisa F. Garcia, EPA Regional Administrator

“With our district home to some of America’s most popular summer destinations, we know better than most the importance of protecting our beaches,” said Representative Frank Pallone (NJ-06). “Federal support is indispensable to ensure our beaches are safe and clean. As New Jerseyans and countless others flock to our state’s beaches for a great summer, now is the perfect time for the allocation of this federal support so swimmers know the water is clean to enjoy. I will always prioritize federal support for New Jersey beaches.”

Representative Frank Pallone (NJ-06)

“I’m thrilled to see this EPA grant funding support water quality monitoring and public safety in New Jersey’s beaches,” said Senator Cory Booker. “This investment will protect public health, preserve our natural resources, and benefit our coastal communities.” 

Senator Cory Booker

“The Department of Environmental Protection and our local partners are extremely grateful for EPA’s continued support of New Jersey’s highly successful Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program,” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “This funding supports the important work done through a longstanding partnership between the DEP and local health departments to monitor and report on water quality so that residents and visitors can enjoy carefree and fun days at the beachAs a result of these efforts, the public can easily visit njbeaches.org to find information about water quality data and beach status reports before heading down the shore to enjoy New Jersey’s consistently excellent water quality.” 

New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette

Under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act, the EPA awards grants to eligible state, tribal, and territorial applicants to help them and their local government partners monitor water quality at coastal and Great Lakes beaches. When bacteria levels are too high for safe swimming, these agencies notify the public by posting beach advisories or closings.

Since 2001, the EPA has awarded nearly $230 million in BEACH Act grants to test beach waters for illness-causing bacteria, identify the sources of pollution problems, and help notify the public. Three factors influenced the EPA’s allocations for the 2024 grant amounts: (1) the length of the beach season, (2) the number of miles of shoreline, and (3) the populations of coastal counties.

To be eligible for BEACH Act grants, states, Tribes, and territories must have coastal and Great Lakes recreational waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access used by the public. They must also have a water quality standards program and EPA-approved numeric recreational water quality standards for coastal waters. Additionally, eligible entities must meet 11 performance criteria for implementing monitoring, assessment, and notification components of the beach program.

More information on BEACH Act grants.

Check the relevant state, Tribal or territorial beach program website for closing or advisory information at a particular beach.

For more information about EPA Region 2, visit: website.

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