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Beach Grant Announcement, Quincy, Massachusetts

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Wollaston Beach
Quincy, Massachusetts

June 13, 2003

Thank you, Governor (Mitt) Romney for that introduction. It's great to be here in Quincy. It's days like this when I really love my job B being outside, in a beautiful place, and calling it work.

Nothing beats being at the beach B or as we say in New Jersey, going down the shore. When I was governor of New Jersey, I used to brag about our 127 miles of clean, sandy beaches.

Here in Massachusetts, you have more than 1,500 miles of beautiful coast line. From Salisbury to P-town to Horseneck Beach, you are justly proud of the beauty of your coast, which is known throughout the world and celebrated in song, literature, and in countless memories.

As President Kennedy once said, A We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea ... we are going back from whence we came.@ There's no doubt, we Americans love our beaches B they are, after all, our number one tourist destination.

From New England to Hawaii, visitors and residents alike expect to find America's beaches clean and healthy. I know the people of the Bay State care deeply about the environmental health of their coastal waters. Wollaston Beach is one of the best examples in America of just how deeply we value our beaches.

Less than two decades ago, this was one of the most polluted coastal areas in the country. But because the people of Quincy cared so deeply B and acted on that concern B there's been a total turn-around.

Earlier this week, I read an article written by a student at the Milton Academy who had come to this beach with his marine biology class. He wrote about that visit, and all the marine life they found here, and concluded by saying, A [What = s] most amazing about the beach is that we students had no idea that just a few years ago...Wollaston used to be an environmental disaster. @ He called the environmental success story that brought back Wollaston beach, A a testament to the hard work of the EPA, MWRA, and the Town of Quincy. @

You can take pride in what you have done here B and as one of our Flagship beaches, you also serve as a model for the rest of the region. As you know, one of the most effective tools we have to ensure continuous improvement in water quality is monitoring water quality on an ongoing basis. That is why EPA is making $10 million in grants available across the nation to help state and local governments keep closer track of ocean water quality at our beaches. These funds will help ensure that a day at a beach is a day to remember for all the right reasons B the warm sun, the salt air, the sand in your shoes, and the refreshing brace of the water.

So on behalf of President Bush and the EPA, I am pleased to present this check for $257,000 in support of Massachusetts = s beach monitoring program. This grant will help ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy this beach B and so many others B for years to come. Thank you, and have a great summer.