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Beach Grant Announcement, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Cherie Down Park
Cape Canaveral, Florida

June 17, 2003

Thank you, Dr. (John) Agwunobi, for that introduction. It = s great to be here in Brevard County. 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 Florida, you have 825 miles of beaches B and every year, millions of people come from all over the Nation and the world to enjoy them. There's no doubt, we Americans love our beaches B they are, after all, our number one tourist destination. From Cape Canaveral, Florida to Kaua'i, Hawaii, visitors and residents alike expect to find America's beaches clean and healthy.

I know the people of the Sunshine State care deeply about the environmental health of their coastal waters. My husband and I have a little place further down the coast, and we love coming to Florida to fish, unwind, and enjoy all this beautiful state has to offer. And like you, we want to be sure Florida's beaches and coastal waters are clean and healthy.

As you know, one of the most effective tools we have to ensure continuous improvement in the condition of our water 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 surfboard-check for $544,552 in support of Florida'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.