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Virginia Receives Federal Funding To Protect Its Beaches

Release Date: 05/25/2006
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, EPA 215-814-5543 Shannon Marshall, Va. Dept. of Health 804-864-7963

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency presented the Commonwealth of Virginia with a $276,900 grant today to help protect the health of Virginias beaches.

“The nations coastal waters provide recreation and enjoyment to millions of people each year. EPA is proud to partner with Virginia to help bring awareness to public health issues at Virginias beautiful seashore,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPAs mid-Atlantic region.

“The assistance EPA continues to provide the Commonwealth has been instrumental to our beach monitoring program,” said State Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube, M.D., M.P.H. “The funds will enable us to continue to monitor our coastal waters and protect the health of all who enjoy Virginia’s beaches.”

Virginias grant will be used to enhance beach monitoring and public notification of potential health risks at beaches, and supporting online programs that provide updated information on beach conditions. Some funding will also be given to county governments and health agencies for local beach projects.

Virginias coastline and beach recreation areas attract local citizens and out-of-state visitors. The Virginia Department of Health works with local health departments to enhance beach water quality monitoring and improving public notification about beach water quality. For more information about Virginias beaches program, visit

The grant comes under the BEACH (Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health) Act of 2000. To date, EPA has awarded $42 million to help 35 states and territories improve water testing and public notification of health risks during the summer.

Nationally, beach grants range from $150,000 to more than $530,000. Amounts are based on the length of beach season, miles of beaches and the number of people using the beaches. EPA estimates that Americans make 910 million trips to coastal areas each year, spending about $44 billion. For more information, check out the beach grants website at