A new round of EPA grants totaling almost $10 million will help states monitor and assess the state of their beaches — something that’s sorely needed, according to the Surfrider Foundation’s State of the Beach report findings, which explains the challenges of tracking the condition of beaches around the country.Here (via).
The EPA is also launching the new BEACON website to provide timely information on beach conditions, advisories and closures.
Inconsistencies in testing, closure and advisory standards, notification procedures and even the terminology used in regulations varies from state to state, creating a confusing picture for consumers. The federal BEACH Act was aimed at elimination some of the inconsistencies, but it will take time for jurisdictions to get on the same page.
In case you don’t live near a beach and you’re wondering what the problem is, the Natural Resource Defense Council’s 2011 Testing the Waters report indicates there were 24,091 beach closings and advisories in 2010 — the second-highest number since the NRDC started tracking stats 21 years ago.