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EPA commits $1,380,000 to protect Great Lakes beaches

Release Date: 01/12/2006
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218

For Immediate Release
No. 06 - OPA010

CHICAGO (Jan. 12, 2006) Six states with Great Lakes shoreline (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) are eligible to share $1,380,380 to protect beaches. In a notice published in the Federal Register on Jan. 11, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the money will be available to the states for beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs.

Since 2001, EPA has provided nearly $52 million under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH) of 2000 to states and territories with shorelines along the nation's ocean coasts or around the Great Lakes. The grants were announced in January to get a jump on the 2006 beach season. States must submit their grant proposals by April 11.

Beach water monitoring enables beach managers to better protect public health. When bacteria concentrations reach unsafe levels, beaches are closed or advisories are issued. In addition, as part of the Clean Beaches Plan, EPA is working on new technologies that will provide faster test results, enabling local health agencies to determine more quickly if a beach should be open for swimming.

In addition to monitoring, Great Lakes states have used past grants for activities that provide better beach information to the public, such as beach health brochures, telephone hot lines, posting up-to-date information on beach closings on Web sites and posting warning signs at beaches in multiple languages.

The BEACH Act of 2000 requires coastal states and territories to adopt up-to-date pathogen criteria to protect beach-goers from harmful bacteria. More information is available at:

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