Implementing the
BEACH Act of 2000
Report to Congress
October 2006

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Implementing the
BEACH Act of 2000
Report to Congress
October 2006
EPA-823-R-06-001

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Contents
Executive Summary	ES-1
  Improving water quality standards, water quality criteria, and water quality	ES-2
        Promulgation of water quality standards	ES-2
        Technical research	ES-2
        Recommendations to improve beach water quality	ES-3
  Implementing the BEACH Act	ES-3
  Recommending improvements to methodologies and techniques for monitoring of
     coastal recreation waters	ES-4
  References	ES-4

Chapter 1: Introduction	1-1
  1.1 What is the nature of the problem? 	1-1
  1.2 What is the BEACH Act?	1-1
  1.3 Organization of the Report to Congress 	1-2
  1.4 References	1-3

Chapter 2: Health Concerns at Beaches	2-1
  2.1 What are pathogens and bacterial indicators?	2-1
        Pathogens	2-1
        Bacterial indicators	2-2
  2.2 What are the health concerns at beaches?	2-4
        Epidemiology studies	2-4
        Illness Outbreak Reports	2-5
  2.3 References	2-6

Chapter 3: Water Quality Criteria and Quality of Water at Beaches	3-1
  3.1 Existing criteria and standards	3-1
        EPA's existing recommended water quality criteria for bacteria	3-1
        EPA promulgation: State water quality standards for bacteria	3-2
  3.2 Water quality criteria under development by EPA	3-2
        EPA's NEEAR Water Study and methods development	3-3
        Indicator methods development 	3-3
        Epidemiology study	3-3
  3.3 Survey of beach advisories and closings	3-4
  3.4 Major sources affecting water quality at beaches	3-5
        Point and nonpoint sources	3-5
        SSOsandCSOs..                                                                     ..3-6

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11                                                   Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    3.5 Recommendations for actions to improve beach water quality	3-6
          Establish pathogen indicators based on sound science	3-7
          Identify unsafe recreational waters and begin restoration	3-7
          Reduce pathogen levels in recreational waters generally	3-7
          Improve beach monitoring and public notification	3-8
    3.6 Improving beach water quality through related programs	3-8
          EPA's National Estuary Program (NEP)	3-8
          EPA's National Marine Debris Monitoring Program (NMDMP)	3-9
          EPA's Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program	3-9
          Great Lakes National Program Office	3-9
    3.7 References	3-9

  Chapter 4: Evaluation  of Federal, State, and  Local Efforts to
  Implement the BEACH Act	4-1
    4.1 What has EPA done?	4-1
          Monitoring and notification performance criteria	4-1
          Cooperative consultation process	4-3
          Program development and implementation grants  	4-3
          EPA's eBeaches: Information technology development for beaches	4-4
          National List of Beaches	4-7
          "Floatables": EPA Technical Assistance	4-7
          EPA Implementation	4-8
    4.2 What have other federal agencies done?	4-8
          U.S. National Park  Service	4-8
    4.3 What have state and territorial governments done?	4-9
          Alabama	4-10
          Alaska	4-10
          American Samoa	4-11
          California	4-11
          Connecticut	4-12
          Delaware	4-12
          Florida	4-12
          Georgia	4-13
          Guam	4-13
          Hawaii 	4-14
          Illinois	4-14
          Indiana	4-14
          Louisiana	4-15
          Maine	4-16
          Maryland	4-16
          Massachusetts	4-17
          Michigan	4-17
          Minnesota	4-18
          Mississippi	4-18

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Contents                                                                                       111
        New York	4-19
        New Hampshire	4-19
        New Jersey	4-19
        North Carolina	4-19
        Northern Mariana Islands	4-20
        Ohio	4-20
        Oregon	4-21
        Pennsylvania	4-21
        Puerto Rico	4-21
        Rhode Island	4-22
        South Carolina	4-22
        Texas	4-22
        Virgin Islands	4-23
        Virginia	4-23
        Washington	4-24
        Wisconsin	4-25
  4.4 What have tribal governments done?	4-25
  4.5 What have local governments done?	4-25
  4.6 References	4-25

Chapter 5: Improvements to Methodologies and Techniques for
Monitoring Coastal Recreation Waters	5-1
  5.1 What monitoring research has EPA conducted?	5-1
  5.2 What modeling work has been conducted?	5-1
  5.3 References	5-3

Appendix A: BEACH Act	A-l

Appendix B: State  and  Territory Highlights	B-1

Appendix C: BEACH-related  References	C-1
  1. National Beach Conference Proceedings (October 2004)	C-1
  2. Tropical Indicators Workshop  (March 2001)	C-1
        Tropical indicators	C-1

Appendix D: Other Research Related to BEACH Act Objectives	D-1
  Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Grants	D-1
        Data Collection and Modeling of Enteric Pathogens, Fecal Indicators and Real-Time
        Environmental Data at Madison, WI (EPA Grant Number: R829339)	D-1
        Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling for Equitable Recreation on the
        Mystic River (EPA Grant Number:  R829338)	D-2
        Prevalence and Survival of Microorganisms in Shoreline Interstitial Waters: A Search for
        Indicators of Health  Risks (EPA Grant Number: R828830)	D-2
        Near-Real Time Monitoring of Inland Suburban Waterways: Application to Three Critical
        Environmental Issues Facing the North Shore/Metro Boston (EPA Grant Number: R828582)	D-2
        Molecular Detection of Anaerobic Bacteria as Indicator Species for Fecal Pollution
        in Water (EPA Grant Number: R827639)	D-3

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IV                                                 Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
          Community Recreational Water Risk Assessment and Public Outreach (EPA Grant
          Number: R827063)	D-3
    Regional Applied Research Effort (RARE) Grants	D-4
          Development of Guidance on Decision-Making When Using Microbial Source
          Tracking Methods	D-4
          Proof of Concept Demonstration for Near Real-Time In Situ Detection of Fecal
          Contamination in Fresh and Marine Waters	D-4
    Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program	D-4
          Portable Pathogenic Predictor for Storm water (EPA Contract Number: 68D99028)	D-4
          A New Biosensor for Rapid Identification of Bacterial Pathogens (EPA Contract
          Number: 68D02051)	D-5
          Automated Human Fecal Pollution Detection (EPA Contract Number: EPD05036)	D-5

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Executive  Summary
 Section 7 of the BEACH Act of 2000 requires EPA to
 publish reports to Congress on the implementation
 of the Act. This is the first Report to Congress since
 the passage of the BEACH Act in 2000. This report
 documents the significant progress that the states,
 territories and EPA have made to implement the
 BEACH Act.
Our coastal beaches are one of our nation's natural
treasures. They are ecologically important,
psychologically important, and economically important
to us. In 2000, EPA estimated that a third of all
Americans visit coastal areas each year, making a total
of 910 million trips and spending about $44 billion
(USEPA 2000). For many people, a day at the beach
       "The Beach. Say the words and they conjure the gentle tickle of waves against the shore, the harder kick of
       surf dashing against the rocks, the slap of spray against heated skin. For most of us, the place where earth
       meets ocean is the very essence of play—romantic, full of novelty and joyful abandon. At the beach, we are all
       children. As we gambol in the shallow surf and toss in the deeper waves, we feel the freedom of helplessness and
       the satisfaction of improvising defenses. Unburdened by consciousness or self-consciousness, we are caught in
       the moment. Suffused with pleasure, we exult in the sheer lightness of being."
                                                                 —(Marano, Psychology Today, 1999)
                                                                                              ES-1

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ES-2
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  provides recreation, relaxation, and a chance to renew
  the spirit. Americans also make coastal areas their
  home. Over half the U.S. population lives in coastal
  watershed counties, and roughly one-half of the
  nation's gross domestic product ($4.5 trillion in 2000)
  is generated in those counties and in adjacent ocean
  waters (U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy 2004).

  Americans have recognized the need for improved
  protection of public health at beaches, including
  stronger beach monitoring programs, and in 2000
  Congress passed the Beaches Environmental
  Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act.
  Since then, the EPA, in partnership with state and
  local governments, has made significant progress in
  improving public health at our  nation's beaches. EPA is
  pleased to report the following:

    1. States have significantly improved their
      assessment and monitoring of beaches; the
      number of monitored beaches has increased from
      about 1,000 in 1997 to more than 3,500 out of
      approximately 6,000 beaches, as identified to EPA
      by the states for the 2004 swimming season.

    2. EPA has strengthened water quality standards
      throughout all the coastal  recreation waters in the
      United States; the number of coastal and Great
      Lakes states with up-to-date water quality  criteria
      has  increased from 11 in 2000 to 35 in 2004.

    3. EPA has improved public access to data on beach
      advisories and closings by improving its electronic
      system for beach data collection and delivery
      systems; the system is known as "eBeaches." The
      public can view the beach  information at http://
      oaspub.epa.gov/beacon/beacon_national_page.
      main.
    4. EPA is working to improve pollution control
      efforts that reduce potential adverse health effects
      at beaches. EPA's Strategic Plan and recent
      National Water Program Guidance describe these
      actions to coordinate assessment of problems
      affecting beaches and to reduce pollution. (See
      section 3.5).
    5. EPA is conducting research to develop new or
      revised water quality criteria and more rapid
      methods for assessing water quality at beaches
      so that results can be made available in hours
      rather than days. Quicker tests will allow beach
      managers to make faster decisions about the safety
      of beach waters and thus help reduce the risk of
      illness among beachgoers.

  These achievements are the result of specific actions
  implemented by EPA and the states under the BEACH
  Act. The actions are summarized in Table ES-1 and
  described following.

  Improving  water quality standards,
  water quality  criteria,  and water
  quality
  EPA and states  took regulatory action to improve
  the existing water quality standards. In addition, the
  Agency devoted significant resources for conducting
  new research and  developing new or revised
  recommended water quality criteria.

  Promulgation of water quality standards
  EPA responded to the BEACH Act's requirement that
  the Agency propose water quality standards using its
  most current water quality criteria if states had not
  adopted these criteria by April 10, 2004. On November
  16, 2004, EPA published a final rule that put federal
  standards into place for the 21 states without criteria
  that are as protective of human health as EPA's 1986
  criteria for coastal recreation waters.

  Technical research
  Since passage of the BEACH Act, EPA has initiated and
  conducted significant research activities. For example,
  EPA—through  its National Epidemiological and
  Environmental  Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR)
  Water Study—is evaluating rapid indicator methods

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Executive Summary
                                             ES-3
to detect fecal contamination and assessing them with
epidemiological studies that relate the rapid indicator
measurements to human health. EPA has completed its
recommended studies of Great Lake waters and is now
assessing this new information, as part of a process to
develop new or revised water quality criteria. EPA is
assessing its further research needs at this time.

Recommencfaf/ons to improve beach water
quality
In its Strategic Plan (USEPA 2003c), EPA identifies
"Water Safe for Swimming" as an important objective
for the Agency. EPA's National Water Program Guidance
for both FY 2005 and FY 2006 (USEPA 2004a and
USEPA 2005b) summarized the Agency's key national
strategies and actions to help improve beach water
quality.  For FY 2005 and FY 2006, EPA's national
strategy for improving the safety of recreational waters
includes four key elements:
  1.  Establish a new generation of pathogen indicators
     based on sound science.
  2.  Identify unsafe recreational waters and begin
     restoration.
  3.  Reduce pathogens levels in all recreational waters.
  4.  Improve beach monitoring and public notification.

Implementing the BEACH Act
EPA and the states have focused on another set of
actions to help reduce the human health risks at
beaches through better water quality monitoring and
improved public notification. Important progress has
been made working cooperatively with state and local
environmental and public health agencies. Actions
include the following:

• Beach grants. EPA provided beach program
   development grants to states in FY 2001 and has
   provided implementation grants to all states (except
   Alaska) since then. EPA has awarded, or is in the
   process of awarding, approximately $52 million in
   grants to states to develop and implement beach
   monitoring and public notification programs.

• State and local accomplishments. Many of the
   actions discussed below were accomplished
   through  the diligent efforts  of state and local public
  health and environmental agencies. State-written
  "spotlights" that provide detailed descriptions
  of achievements resulting from state and local
  beach programs are provided in Section 4.3 and
  Appendix B of the report.

• National program requirements and guidance. EPA
  published National Beach Guidance and Required
  Performance Criteria for Grants in July 2002. This
  document established the fundamental framework
  for beach programs and provides guidance for
  receiving implementation grants. EPA developed
  the document in consultation with coastal states and
  other interested parties over a two-year period.

• National List of Beaches. States completed the
  first national, comprehensive listing of beaches
  using a risk-based classification scheme to identify
  monitoring and notification priorities. This list
  will eventually be linked to detailed geographic
  identifiers, monitoring stations, and other data
  systems.

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ES-4
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  • eBeaches. EPA has improved public access to data
    on beach advisories and closings by improving
    its electronic system for beach data collection
    and delivery systems; the system is known as
    "eBeaches." This online system includes a database
    of monitoring results and notification actions,
    thereby fulfilling the National Pollution Occurrence
    Database requirement of the BEACH Act. The
    public can view the beach information at http://
    oaspub.epa.gov/beacon/beacon_national_page.main.

  Recommending improvements to
  methodologies and techniques for
  monitoring of  coastal recreation
  waters
  EPA and others have taken a number of actions to
  improve our understanding of beach water quality
  monitoring and modeling. For example, EPA is
  developing faster indicator methods that will provide
  more rapid results than the currently used tests. The
  goal is to help beach managers quickly test the water
  and make available the results about the safety of beach
  waters in hours, rather than days. This technology
  will help reduce the risk of waterborne illness among
  beachgoers.

  EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD)
  conducted an intensive monitoring program (the
  Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and
  Community Tracking, or EMPACT, study) at several
  beaches to determine what factors influence microbial
  indicator concentrations. This study provides state and
  local governments with information for improving the
  design of site-specific beach monitoring programs.
  Included is an examination on how environmental
  factors like sunshine, tide, rain, or wind and sampling
  variables (such as sampling times and sample depth and
  distance from the shore) affect fecal indicator levels.

  ORD has also been investigating means to improve
  the monitoring of beach water quality and to develop
  strategies, including modeling, for timely notification
  of the public when bacterial contamination poses a
  risk to bathers. New software called Virtual Beach
  is being developed to support both empirical and
  physical approaches in an integrated application. In
  collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS),
  EPA is developing a prototype of Virtual Beach to
  automate statistical analytical techniques developed
  by USGS. The goal is to develop a user-friendly
  application that can help beach managers predict the
  need for a beach advisory or closing up to three days in
  advance.

  References
  U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. 2004. An Ocean
     Blueprint for the 21st Century. Final report. U.S.
      Commission on Ocean Policy, Washington, DC.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1986.
     Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria 1986.
      EPA 440/5-84-002. U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency, Office of Research and Development,
      Washington, DC.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2000. Liquid Assets 2000: America's Water Resources
      at a Turning Point. EPA-840-B-00-001. U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
      Washington, DC.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2003.2003-2008 EPA Strategic Plan: Direction for
      the Future. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
      Office of Water, Washington, DC.

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Executive Summary
ES-5
Table ES-1 . Accomplishments in Implementing the BEACH Act
Activity
Water Quality Criteria and Other Actions To Improve Coastal Recreation Waters
• Existing Water Quality Standards
Promulgated water quality standards for states and territories that had not yet adopted water
quality criteria for bacteria that were as protective of human health as EPA's 1986 bacteria
criteria.
• National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR)
Water Study
Initiated joint study with the CDC, USGS, and others to test potential new water quality
indicators.
• Rapid Methods
Developing new water quality tests that will provide rapid results.
• Water Quality Criteria Development
Will update water quality criteria based on ongoing and planned studies.
• Recommendations to improve beach water quality
EPA's strategic plan included combination of actions to improve recreational water quality.
Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts
• National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants
Published the National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for Grants,
establishing the basic requirements for beach programs that receive federal beach funds.
• Awarded BEACH Grants
EPA has awarded, or is in the process of awarding, approximately $52 million in grants to
states to develop and implement beach monitoring and public notification programs.
• "eBeaches"
Designed, built, and implemented an electronic data system called eBeaches to collect,
store, and provide beach information to the public, http://oaspub.epa.gov/beacon/beacon
national page.main.
• National Health Protection Survey of Beaches
Continued the National Health Protection Survey of Beaches through 2002 to collect
information about state and local beach programs.
• National List of Beaches
Developed and published a "list of beaches" ("list of waters") that includes those with a
monitoring and notification program, as well as those without a program.
• Floatables
Published guidance titled Assessing and Monitoring Floatable Debris to help states, tribes, and
local governments develop their own assessment and monitoring programs for floatable
debris in coastal recreation waters.
• State and Territory Accomplishments
States and territories have used BEACH Act grant funds to implement and improve their
beach monitoring and public notification programs.
Recommendations to Improve Integrated Coastal Water Monitoring and Modeling
• Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT)
Beaches Project
Conducted a study to identify those characteristics of a beach environment that have a
significant impact on monitoring in coastal recreation waters.
• Modeling
Investigated the USGS Project SAFE model. Collaborated with USGS to design the Virtual
Beach model.
,,^H
November 2004
2001-present
2001-present
2001-ongoing
September 2003
July 2002
2000-present
May 2005
1997-2002
2004-present
August 2004
2001-present
September 2005
2005
Page
3-1
3-3
3-3
3-5
3-7
4-1
4-3
4-4
3-5
4-7
4-7
4-9
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5-2


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ES-6                                           Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Chapter  1
Introduction
1.1   What is the nature of the
      problem?
Over the past 50 years, epidemiological studies and
"outbreak investigations" have linked swimming in
polluted water with adverse human health effects.
Epidemiological studies determine the relationship
between water quality and health effects in swimmers.
Swimming-related diseases can range from less severe
gastrointestinal diseases (e.g., sore throats and diarrhea)
and non-gastrointestinal diseases (e.g., respiratory, ear,
eye, and skin infections) to more serious illnesses, such
as meningitis or hepatitis (Rose et al. 1999).

Fecal contamination of our nation's recreation waters
originates from many sources, including coastal and
shoreline development, wastewater collection and treat-
ment facilities, septic tanks, urban runoff, disposal of
human waste from boats, bathers themselves, animal
feeding operations, and natural animal sources like
wildlife. People who swim and recreate in water con-
taminated with fecal pollution are at an increased risk
of becoming ill because of pathogens from the fecal
matter (Craun et al. 2005).

1.2   What is the BEACH Act?
On October 10, 2000, the Beaches Environmental
Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act) was
signed into law, amending the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The BEACH Act addressed pathogens and pathogen
indicators in coastal recreation waters,  and it contains
three significant provisions, summarized as follows:

• The BEACH Act amended the CWA by adding
  section 303(i), which requires states and tribes
  that have coastal recreation waters to adopt new or
  revised water quality standards by April 10, 2004,
  for pathogens and pathogen indicators for which
  EPA has published criteria under CWA section
  304(a). Section 303(i) also directs EPA to promulgate
  standards for states that fail to establish standards
  as protective of human health as EPA's published
  criteria.
• The Act amended the CWA by adding section 104(v)
  and 304(a), which together  require EPA to conduct
  studies associated with pathogens and human health
                                                                                                  1-1

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1-2
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    and to publish new or revised CWA section 304(a)
    criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators based
    on those studies. Under section 303(i)(l)(B), states
    that have coastal recreation waters are directed to
    adopt new or revised water quality standards for all
    pathogens and pathogen indicators to which EPA's
    new or revised section 304(a) criteria are applicable
    by not later than three years after EPA's publication
    of the new or revised section 304(a) criteria.

  •  The Act amended the CWA to add section 406,
    which authorizes EPA to award grants to states or
    local governments to develop and implement beach
    monitoring and assessment programs.

  The Beach Act also amended part 502 of the CWA to
  define coastal recreation waters as the Great Lakes and
  marine coastal waters (including coastal estuaries) desig-
  nated under CWA section 303(c) for swimming, bathing,
  surfing, or similar water contact activities. The term
  coastal recreation waters does not include inland waters or
  waters upstream of the mouth of a river or stream that
  has an unimpaired connection with the open sea.
      A copy of the BEACH Act is in
      Appendix A.

      The BEACH Act is also available
      online at: www.epa.gov/waterscience/
      beaches/act.html
  1.3   Organization of the Report to
        Congress
  Section 7 of the BEACH Act required EPA to publish a
  report to Congress four years after enactment and every
  four years thereafter. Specifically, the act required that
  the report include
  • Recommendations concerning the need for addi-
    tional water quality  criteria for pathogens and
    pathogen indicators and other actions that should
    be taken to improve the quality of coastal recreation
    waters (Chapter 3)





                            »'.feV.f
                                     tt* ~  •  "

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Chapter 1: Introduction
                                                 1-3
•  An evaluation of federal, state, and local efforts to
   implement the act (Chapter 4)

*  Recommendations on improvements to metho-
   dologies and techniques for monitoring coastal
   recreation waters (Chapter 5)

This report to Congress fulfills EPA's obligation for
the first report. It provides a synopsis of the health
concerns related to pathogens, followed by chapters
that address the three requirements of Section 7 of the
BEACH Act. This report documents the significant
progress that EPA and its partners have made in imple-
menting the BEACH Act. The Agency's collaborative
work with other federal agencies, states, and territo-
ries, as well as local environmental and public health
agencies, has resulted in  better beach monitoring and
notification and, consequently, better public health
protection at America's beaches.

1.4    References
Craun, G.F., R.L. Calderon, and M.F. Craun. 2005.
   Outbreaks associated with recreational water in the
   United States. International Journal of Environmental
   Health Research. 15(4): 243.
Rose, B., R.M. Atlas, C.P. Gerba, M.R. Gilchrist, M.W.
    LeChevallier, M.D. Sobsey, M.V. Yates, G.H.
    Cassell, and J.M. Tiedje. 1999. MicroUal Pollutants
    in Our Nation's Water: Environmental and Public
    Health Issues. American Society for Microbiology,
    Washington, DC.

U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. 2004. An Ocean
    Blueprint for the 21st Century. Final report. U.S.
    Commission on Ocean Policy, Washington, DC.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
    2000. Liquid Assets 2000: America's Water Resources
    at a Turning Point. EPA-840-B-00-001. Office of
    Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
    Washington, DC.

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1-4                                              Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress

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 Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
 Chapter 2
Health  Concerns  at Beaches
 2.1   What are pathogens and
       bacterial indicators?
 This section includes background information about
 pathogens and bacterial indicators to allow a better
 understanding of the BEACH Act's requirements for
 water quality standards and criteria.

 Pathogens
 A.pathogen is defined as any disease-producing micro-
 organism (Borland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary,
 2000). Microorganisms are ever-present in all terres-
 trial and aquatic ecosystems. Many types are beneficial,
 functioning as agents for chemical decomposition, food
 sources for larger animals, and essential components
 of the nitrogen cycle and other biogeochemical cycles.
 Some microorganisms reside in the bodies of animals
 and aid in the digestion of food; others reside on the
 skin, providing protection against pathogens. Still oth-
 ers are used commercially for medical purposes, such
 as providing antibiotics.

 The small subset of microorganisms that  cause human
 diseases are known as human pathogens.  If taken into
 the body, they can  cause gastrointestinal illness, other
 medical problems,  or even death. The source of human
 pathogens is usually the feces of humans and other
 warm-blooded animals. For recreational waters, there
 are three groups of gastrointestinal pathogens of con-
 cern—bacteria, viruses, and protozoans.

 • Bacteria are unicellular organisms that lack an orga-
   nized nucleus and contain no chlorophyll (Chapra
   1997). They contain a single chromosome and typi-
   cally reproduce by binary fission, during which a
   single cell divides to form two new cells. A primary
   bacteria source of concern at beaches is feces from
   people and other warm-blooded animals, including
   fecal waste associated with  farming and the  discharge
  of domestic sewage. Feces can contain many types of
  bacteria found in waterbodies, including the coliform
  group, streptococcus, lactobacillus, staphylococ-
  cus, and clostridia. It is important to understand,
  however, that most bacteria are not pathogenic or
  disease-causing.

  Protozoans are unicellular organisms with a nucleus
  that reproduce by fission and occur primarily in the
  aquatic environment. Pathogenic protozoans, which
  constitute almost 30 percent of the 35,000 known
  species of protozoans, are found in the feces of people
  and other warm-blooded animals (Mitchell et al.
  1988, cited in NCSU 1997). They can exist in the
  environment as cysts that hatch, grow, and multiply
  after ingestion, causing associated illness. Encystation
  of protozoans facilitates their survival by protecting
  them from harsh conditions like high temperature
  and salinity. Two protozoan species of major concern
  as waterborne pathogens are Giardia lamblia and
  Cryptosporidium parvum (Academic Press 2003).
Giardia lamblia. (H.D.A. Lindquist. USEPA)
                                                                                                 2-1

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      Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
     Rotavirus. (P.P. Williams. USEPA)
  •  Viruses are a group of infectious agents that require
     a host in which to live and reproduce. They are com-
     posed of a sequence of nucleic acids—either DNA or
     RNA, depending on the virus—that is covered by
     a protein shell for protection. The most significant
     virus group affecting water quality and human
     health grows and reproduces in the cells of the gastro-
     intestinal tract of people and infected animals. These
     enteric viruses are excreted in feces, and they include
     hepatitis  A, rotaviruses, caliciviruses (noroviruses),
     adenoviruses, enteroviruses, and reoviruses.

  Bacterial indicators
  Bacterial indicators1 are used to measure fecal contami-
  nation in environmental waters and the potential pres-
        ence of a diverse group of hard-to-detect pathogenic
        organisms. A bacterial indicator organism provides
        evidence of the presence or absence of fecal waste and
        the potential presence of pathogenic organisms that
        survive under similar physical, chemical, and nutrient
        conditions. An ideal indicator organism should have
        as many of the following characteristics as possible: be
        easily detected using simple laboratory tests; gener-
        ally not be present in unpolluted waters; appear in
        concentrations that can be correlated with the extent
        of contamination; and have a die-off rate similar to the
        die-off rate of the pathogens of concern (Sloat and Ziel
        1992, Thomann and Mueller 1987).

        Most disease-causing microbes exist sporadically,
        often at very low concentrations, and are difficult and
        expensive to detect. Indicator organisms, therefore,
        have been used for more than a century to help identify
        where  fecal contamination has occurred and to indicate
        where  disease-causing microbes might be present.
        These  organisms generally do not cause illness directly;
        however, they have characteristics that make them
        good indicators that fecal contamination has occurred
        and that harmful pathogens might be in the water
        (Thomann and Mueller 1987, Wilhelm and Maluk
        1999).  Figure 2.1 shows the relationship of various
        bacterial indicator organisms.
       Total Coliform
          Bacteria


Fecal Enterococci/
Streptococci
       Fecal Coliform
          Bacteria
Enterococcus
Streptococcus
       Escherichia coli
  Figure 2.1.   Relationship between bacterial indicator organisms
1 This report uses the term bacterial indicators because it is the term more commonly used by microbiologists.The CWA defines a pathogen indicator as a substance that indicates the
 potential for human infectious disease. EPA interprets the term pathogen indicators, as used in the BEACH Act, to refer to any indicators for pathogens, which include bacterial indicators.

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Chapter 2: Health Concerns at Beaches
2-3
Table 2.1. Waterborne Pathogens (adapted from Metcalf 'and Eddy, 1991,
Bacteria
Escherichia coli
(enteropathogenic) Gastroenteritis
Helicobacter pylori Gastritis
Legionella pneumophila Legionellosis
Leptospira Leptospirosis
Infections in
Pseudomonas immuno-compromised individuals
Salmonella typhi Typhoid fever
Salmonella Salmonellosis
Shigella Shigellosis
Vibrio cholerae Cholera
Yersinia enterolitica Yersinosis
Protozoans
Balantidium coli Balantidiasis
Cryptosporidium Cryptosporidiosis
Entamoeba histolytica Ameobiasis (amoebic dysentery)
Giardia lamblia Giardiasis
Naglaria fowleri Amoebicmeningoencephalitis
Viruses
Adenovirus (31 types) Respiratory disease
Astroviruses Gastroenteritis
Enteroviruses (67 types,
e.g., polio, echo, and
Coxsackie viruses) Gastroenteritis
Hepatitis A and E Infectious hepatitis
Noroviruses (Norwalk-
and Sapporo-like viruses) Gastroenteritis
Reovirus Gastroenteritis
Rotavirus Gastroenteritis
Vomiting, diarrhea, and death in susceptible populations
Diarrhea. Peptic ulcers are a long-term sequela.
Acute respiratory illness
Jaundice, fever (Weil's disease)
Urinary tract infections, respiratory system infections,
dermatitis, soft tissue infections, bacteremia, and a vari-
ety of systemic infections
High fever, diarrhea, ulceration of the small intestine
Diarrhea, dehydration
Bacillary dysentery
Extremely heavy diarrhea, dehydration
Diarrhea
Diarrhea, dysentery
Diarrhea
Prolonged diarrhea with bleeding, abscesses of the liver
and small intestine
Mild to severe diarrhea, nausea, indigestion
Fatal disease; inflammation of the brain
Eye infections, diarrhea
Vomiting, diarrhea
Diarrhea. Heart anomalies and meningitis are long-term
sequela and are very rare.
Jaundice, fever
Vomiting, diarrhea
Vomiting, diarrhea
Vomiting, diarrhea


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2-4
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  1.1   What are the health concerns at
         beaches?
  Various studies and reports have documented the
  adverse health effects that might result from human
  exposure to fecally contaminated waters. The main route
  of exposure to disease-causing organisms in recreation
  waters is contact with polluted water while swimming.2

  In waters that contain fecal contamination, bathers
  could potentially contract all the waterborne diseases
  spread by the fecal-oral route (Henrickson et al. 2001).
  These illnesses include diseases resulting from expo-
  sure to various pathogens, such as

    •  Bacteria that can cause cholera, salmonellosis,
      shigellosis, and gastroenteritis

    •  Viruses that can cause diseases like infectious
      hepatitis, gastroenteritis, and intestinal diseases

    •  Protozoans that can cause diseases like amoebic
      dysentery, cryptosporidiosis, and giardiasis

  These and other diseases that can result from contact
  with water contaminated with  introduced or naturally
  occurring pathogens are summarized in Table 2.1.

  When people become ill as a result of contact with con-
  taminated water, one common illness is gastroenteritis.
  Gastroenteritis is the inflammation  of the gastrointes-
  tinal tract, usually caused by a microorganism. It can
  involve chills, nausea, diarrhea, and sometimes fever.

  People can also contract diseases that affect the eyes,
  ears, skin, and upper respiratory tract. Infection
  might result when pathogenic microorganisms come
  into contact with abrasions in the skin, or ruptures in
  delicate membranes in the ear  or nose, resulting from
  swimming exposures.

  Epidemiology studies
  The relationship between water quality and human
  health has been studied for many years. EPA began
  studies to quantify the relationship between the quality
  of bathing water and the resultant health effects
  in 1972. Studies in the 1970s and 1980s examined
  the  differences in symptomatic illness between
  swimming and nonswimming  beachgoers at marine
  and freshwater bathing beaches. The studies found the
  following (USEPA, 1999):

    •  Swimmers who bathe in water contaminated with
       sewage are at greater risk than nonswimmers of
       contracting gastroenteritis.

    •  The swimming-associated illness rate increases as
       the quality of the bathing water degrades.

    •  The illness rate in marine swimmers is greater
       than that in freshwater swimmers when indica-
       tor densities are equivalent in marine waters and
       freshwaters.

    •  Most swimming-related illnesses are of undeter-
       mined etiology (cause).3

  In 1995, researchers with assistance from the Santa
  Monica National Estuary Program, launched a large-
  scale study in the Santa Monica Bay area to assess both
  the effectiveness of bacterial indicators in predicting
  health risks to bathers and the relative health risk asso-
  ciated with bathing near storm drains. In this study,
  approximately 15,000 beachgoers who bathed and
  immersed their heads were interviewed. Approximately
  13,000 of the beachgoers were contacted for follow-
  up interviews designed to assess the occurrence of
  symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, and diarrhea.
  The  study found that there is a significant correlation
  between swimming in water with high densities of
  indicator bacteria and the incidence of adverse health
  effects. In addition, the study indicated that people
  who  swim in front of flowing storm  drains are twice as
  likely to exhibit adverse health effects as people who
  swim 400 yards away from such storm drains (Haile et
  al. 1996).

  A review of studies conducted during the past several
  decades has provided the following overall conclusions
  (Priiss 1998):

    •  An exposure-response relationship exists between
       bacterial indicator counts in recreational waters
       and gastrointestinal symptoms in bathers.

    •  There is no demonstrated relationship between
       bacterial indicator counts and symptoms not
       related to the gastrointestinal tract (such as eye,
       nose, ears, and skin symptoms).
 2 The terms swimming and bathing are used in this report to encompass recreational activities (such as swimming, bathing, water skiing, surfing, and kayakingl where ingestion of, or
  immersion in, the water is likely. States and territories typically identify these uses in their water quality standards as "primary contact recreation."
 3 The illnesses can be identified, but the specific pathogen (i.e., bacterium, virus, or protozoanl often is not identified unless there is a specific outbreak investigation.

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Chapter 2: Health Concerns at Beaches
                                                 2-5
£ coli, a bacterial indicator organism that correlates with adverse
effects in freshwater. (Rocky Mountain Laboratories. NIAID. NIH)
  •  The relative risk of swimming in contaminated
     waters ranged from one to three times above the
     risk associated with swimming in uncontaminated
     waters.

  •  The indicators showing the best correlation
     with adverse health effects were enterococci
     (marine water and freshwater) and Escherichia coli
     (freshwater).

Illness Outbreak  Reports
Another source of information about adverse human
health effects is reports of waterborne disease out-
breaks. In 1971 EPA, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), and the Council of State and
Territorial Epidemiologists initiated a surveillance
system for reporting the occurrence and causes of
waterborne outbreaks in the United States. This system
resulted in a series of annual reports on waterborne
disease outbreaks.

These reports are an  important source of informa-
tion  about human health problems in our nation's
recreational waters. A recently published article titled
"Outbreaks associated with recreational water in the
United States" summarizes these reports from the past
30 years (Craun et al. 2005). In the article, the authors
review the causes of outbreaks associated with recre-
ational water during  1971-2000 and note the following:
•  A bacterial or protozoan etiology was identified in
   three-quarters of the outbreaks; 23 percent of the
   outbreaks were of undetermined etiology. The most
   frequently identified agents were Cryptosporidium (15
   percent), Pseudomonas (14 percent), Shigella (13 per-
   cent), Naeglena (11 percent), Giardia (6 percent), and
   toxigenic-E. coli (6 percent). Outbreaks attributed to
   Shigella, E. coli 0157:H7, and Naeglena were primar-
   ily associated with swimming in fresh waters such
   as lakes, ponds, and rivers. In contrast, outbreaks
   caused by Cryptosporidium and Giardia were primar-
   ily associated with treated water in swimming and
   wading pools.

•  An important source of contamination for both
   treated and untreated recreational waters was the
   bathers themselves. Contamination from sewage
   discharges and wild or domestic animals were also
   important sources for untreated waters. A con-
   tributing factor in swimming-pool outbreaks was
   inadequate attention to maintenance, operation,
   disinfection, and filtration.

•  Although not all waterborne outbreaks are recog-
   nized or reported, the national surveillance of these
   outbreaks has helped identify important sources
   of contamination of recreational waters and the
   etiologic agents. This information can be useful in
   making prevention recommendations and setting
   research priorities that might lead to improved water
   quality guidelines.

These reports provide insight into the health effects
and, to some degree, the causes of human illnesses.
Unfortunately, the reporting has limitations. For
example, it is difficult to detect and document illness
outbreaks in the population. People who acquire an ill-
ness from bathing in contaminated water do not always
associate their illness with swimming. The symp-
toms might arise after leaving the beach and might
be attributed to other causes, such as food poisoning.
As a result, disease outbreaks often are inconsistently
recognized (Craun et al. 2005). Disease surveillance
reports also cannot accurately determine the incidence
of disease among bathers.

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2-6
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  2.3   References
  Academic Press. 2003. Handbook of Water and
      Wastewater Microbiology. Chapter 40, p. 695.
      Elsevier.

  Chapra., S. 1997. Surface Water-Quality Modeling.
      McGraw-Hill Inc., New York.

  Craun, G.F., R.L. Calderon, and M.F. Craun. 2005.
      Outbreaks associated with recreational water in the
      United States. International Journal of Environmental
      Health Research 15(4): 243.

  Borland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 2000. 29th
      ed. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA.

  Haile, R. 1996. A Health Effects Study of Swimmers in
      Santa Monica Bay. Santa Monica Bay Restoration
      Project, Monterey Park, CA.

  Henrickson, S.E., T. Wong, P. Allen, T. Ford, and P.R.
      Epstein. 2001. Marine swimming-related illness:
      Implications for Monitoring and Environmental
      Policy. Environmental Health Perspectives 109 (7,
      July): pp 645-650.

  McGraw-Hill. 2005. Encyclopedia of Science and
      Technology Online. .

  Priiss, A. 1998. Review of epidemiological studies on
      health effects from exposure to recreational water.
      International Journal of Epidemiology 27:1-9.
  Sloat, S., and C. Ziel. 1992. The Use of Indicator
      Organisms to Assess Public Water Safety.

  Thomann, R.V., and J.A. Mueller. 1987. Principles of
      Surface Water Quality Modeling and Control. Harper
      and Row, New York.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999.
      Action Plan for Beaches and Recreational Waters.
      EPA 600/R-98-079. U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency, Office of Research and Development and
      Office of Water, Washington, DC.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2002.
      National Beach Guidance and Required Performance
      Criteria for Grants. EPA 823-B-02-004. U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
      Washington, DC.

  W.B. Saunders Company. 2000. Borland's Illustrated
      Medical Dictionary. 29th ed. Philadelphia, PA.

  Wilhelm, L.J.,  and T.L. Maluk. 1999. Fecal-Indicator
      Bacteria in  Surface Waters of the Santee River Basin
      and Coastal Drainage, North and South Carolina,
      1995-1998.

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Chapter 3
Water  Quality  Criteria and
Quality  of Water  at  Beaches
EPA has made significant progress in meeting the
BEACH Act requirements related to water quality
criteria and standards. EPA promptly issued a
regulation to promulgate water quality standards in
coastal recreation waters in the states that had not
adopted criteria as protective of human health as
EPA's current recommended bacteria criteria. EPA
is conducting research to identify better indicators
and develop faster indicator methods. The Agency
is assessing this information as part of a process to
develop new or revised water quality criteria.

3.1   Existing criteria  and  standards
Water quality standards consist of designated uses,
the criteria necessary to protect those uses, and an
antidegradation policy. A waterbody's designated uses
determine what criteria apply to the waterbody. CWA
section 101(a)(2) sets the national goal of achieving
water quality that provides for the "protection and
propagation offish, shellfish, and wildlife" and
"recreation in and on the water"
wherever attainable. This national
goal is commonly referred to as
the "fishable/swimmable" goal of
the CWA.

CWA section 303(c)(2)(A) requires
that water quality standards "be
such as to protect the public health
and welfare, enhance the quality
of water, and serve the purposes
of this Act." States have generally
provided for the "swimmable"
goal by designating "primary
contact recreation" as a use for
their waters. Primary contact
recreation encompasses activities
that could be expected to result in ingestion of water
or immersion. These activities include swimming,
waterskiing, surfing, and any other activity where
contact and immersion in the water are likely. Water
quality standards form the foundation of the nation's
water quality management program and set the
baseline by which success is ultimately measured for a
given waterbody or watershed.

EPA's existing recommended water quality
criteria for bacteria
Section 303(i) of the CWA calls for states to adopt
"initial standards and criteria" for the pathogens and
pathogen indicators for which EPA has published
criteria under CWA section 304(a), namely, EPA's
Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria-1986
(USEPA  1986). The scientific basis for the criteria
was a series of studies conducted by EPA in the late
1970s and early 1980s (Cabelli 1983, Dufour, 1984).
The studies considered several organisms, including

                                                                                            3-1

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 3-2
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
   fecal coliforms, E. coli, and enterococci, as possible
   indicators.

   EPA found that enterococcus is a good predictor of
   illness in all waters and that E. coli is a good predictor
   in freshwaters. As a result, in 1986 EPA recommended
   the use of the indicator organisms E. coli for fresh
   recreational  waters and enterococci for fresh and
   marine recreational waters. EPA recommended a
   geometric mean level of 126/100 mL for E. coli in
   freshwater. EPA recommended geometric mean
   levels of 33/100 mL for enterococci in freshwater and
   35/100 mL for enterococci in marine water.
  Table 3.1.
  States and Territories Subject to the November 2004
  Water Quality Standards Rule
EPA's Ambient Water Quality
Criteria for Bacteria-1986 can
be found online at www.epa.govl
watersciencelbeachesll986crit.pdf
Information about EPA's promulgated
water quality standards for states can be found online at
www.epa.govlwatersciencelbeacheslbacteria-mle.htm#final
   EPA promulgation: State water quality
   standards for bacteria
   The BEACH Act directed coastal and Great Lakes
   states to adopt for their coastal recreation waters, by
   April 10, 2004, water quality criteria for pathogens
   or pathogen indicators as protective of human health
   as EPA's 1986 water quality criteria for bacteria.
   The BEACH Act also required EPA to propose and
   promulgate such standards for states that did not do so.

   EPA worked collaboratively with all the states and
   territories that contain coastal recreation waters to
   identify their existing water quality standards, review
   them for consistency with the BEACH Act require-
   ments, and determine what steps were needed to meet
   the BEACH Act requirements. On November 16, 2004,
   EPA published in the Federal Register a final rule that
   promulgated water quality standards for 21  states and
   territories that had not yet adopted water quality crite-
   ria for bacteria that were as protective of human health
   as EPA's 1986 bacteria criteria. The states and territo-
   ries subject to this rulemaking are listed in Table 3.1.
        Alaska
        California
        Florida
        Georgia
        Hawaii
        Illinois
        Louisiana
        Maine
        Maryland
        Massachusetts
        Minnesota
Mississippi
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
Virgin Islands
Wisconsin
  3.2   Recommended water quality
         criteria under development by
         EPA
  Under CWA section 304(a)(9), as amended by the
  BEACH Act, EPA is required to publish new or revised
  water quality criteria for pathogens or pathogen indica-
  tors for the purpose of protecting human health. The
  BEACH Act also added section 104(v), which requires
  EPA to conduct studies for use in developing these new
  or revised recommended water quality criteria. Section
  104(v) directs EPA to initiate new studies by not later
  than 18 months after enactment (April 10, 2001) and
  complete the studies by not later than 3 years after
  enactment (October 10, 2003).

  The section 104(v) studies are to provide additional
  information for use in developing:

  (1) an assessment of potential human health risks
    resulting from exposure to pathogens in coastal
    recreation waters, including nongastrointestinal
    effects;

  (2) appropriate and effective indicators for improving
    detection in a timely manner in coastal recreation
    waters of the presence of pathogens that are harmful
    to human health;

  (3) appropriate, accurate, expeditious, and cost-effective
    methods (including predictive models) for detecting
    in a timely manner in coastal recreation waters the
    presence of pathogens that are harmful to human
    health; and

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Chapter 3: Water Quality Criteria and Quality of Water at Beaches
                                               3-3
(4) guidance for State application of the criteria for
   pathogens and pathogen indicators to be published
   under section 304(a)(9) to account for the diversity of
   geographic and aquatic conditions.

EPA's NEEAR Water Study and methods
development
In response to the section 104(v) requirements, EPA's
Office of Research and Development, in consultation
with the Office of Water, started the ongoing National
Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of
Recreational (NEEAR) Water Study in 2001. It is a
collaborative research study between EPA and the
CDC. EPA also coordinates the study with USGS and
other interested agencies.

The indicators and rapid methods that EPA is
evaluating through the NEEAR study are bacterial
indicators of fecal contamination. The goal of the
NEEAR research is to produce information defining the
relationship between water  quality, as measured with
rapid indicators of fecal contamination, and swimming-
associated health effects.

Indicator methods development
EPA is developing faster indicator methods that will
provide more rapid results than the currently used
tests. The goal is to help beach managers to quickly test
the water in the morning and make results about the
safety of beach waters available in hours, rather than
days. Providing faster results to beach managers and
The NEEAR Water Study includes examining detection methods
that will produce results in 2 hours or less.
the public should help reduce the risk of waterborne
illness among beachgoers.

A number of rapid methods were evaluated for use in
the NEEAR Water Study, but only a few were included.
Methods were included in the study if they met the
following criteria:

  1. Results could be obtained within a few hours.

  2. Enterococci, bacteroides, or other new fecal
    indicator organisms were detected by the method.

  3. The sensitivity and specificity of the method were
    adequate.
  4. The detection limit was lower than the EPA-
    recommended enterococci limits.

  5. Valid data could be obtained because sample
    carryover or other problems did not occur.

The four methods chosen are as follows:

  • Method 1600 is the EPA-approved membrane
    filter method using mEI Agar for the detection of
    enterococci in recreational water.

  • The Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
    Method, a modified rapid gene probe method,
    is used to detect enterococci and Bacteroides in
    water samples.

  • The RAPTOR Fiberoptic Biosensor is a portable,
    automated fiberoptic biosensor that can be used
    to detect microbiological and chemical analytes in
    water samples.

  • The Luminex 100 System  is a compact flow
    cytometer that analyzes immunoassays, complex
    genetic analyses, or enzymatic assays through
    the use of optics, fluidics, and advanced signal
    processing.

Epidemiology study
The second part of the NEEAR Water  Study is an
epidemiology study that combines health data and water
quality analyses using the indicator methods described
above. The study measures human health outcomes
such as diarrhea and gastrointestinal illness as well as
non-enteric swimming-related illnesses (such as skin,
ear, eye, urinary tract, and respiratory infections). This

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3-4
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  health information is collected through interviewer-
  conducted surveys in beach areas. On the same days
  that health interviews are conducted at these beaches,
  multiple water samples are collected and tested using the
  fast indicator methods described in the previous section.

  Planning and implementation of these studies have
  been under way for several years. The initial studies
  focused on freshwater sites in the Great Lakes. The
  beaches were selected on the basis of the potential
  number of beachgoers, water quality parameters,
  and sources of microbial pathogens in the water (e.g.,
  domestic sewage vs. animals). These studies place
  emphasis on beaches that have identified point sources
  of contamination (e.g., sewage treatment plants).

  The NEEAR Water Study team has completed three
  summers of data collection, including a one-year pilot
  study and two full-year studies. (EPA also conducted a
  recreational monitoring characterization study before
  starting the Great Lakes studies.)

    • Pilot Study
      West Beach, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,
      Portage, Indiana (2002)

    • Full-Scale Study (Freshwater)
       1. West Beach, Indiana Dunes National
         Lakeshore, Portage, Indiana (2003)
       2. Huntington Beach, Bay Village, Ohio (2003)
       3. Washington Park, Michigan City, Indiana
         (2004)
       4. Silver Beach, St. Joseph, Michigan (2004)

  More than 10,000 volunteer households at freshwater
  beaches were recruited on weekends during the sum-
  mers of 2003 and 2004, from Memorial Day through
  Labor Day. These households provided information
  about their activities and health status after beach vis-
  its. Families and individuals were interviewed about a
  variety of activities, including swimming, to determine
  their potential exposure to disease-causing patho-
  gens. During the three-year study, more than 21,000
  interviews were completed and more than 1,500 water
  samples were collected and analyzed.
  The data are being analyzed to determine whether
  swimmers exposed to higher levels of rapid indica-
  tors experience more illness than non-swimmers, or
  swimmers exposed to lower levels of rapid indicators.
  Analysis of the data from the Great Lakes study shows
  a promising relationship between one of the rapid
  indicators methods (Quantitative PCR) and gastrointes-
  tinal illness among swimmers. These results have been
  published in a peer reviewed scientific journal (Wade,
  2006).

  3.3  Survey of beach advisories and
        closings
  Beach advisories and closings are based on water
  quality information, and therefore they are, in effect,
  one measure of water quality. A beach advisory or
  closing typically occurs when monitoring results show
  that levels of fecal indicators exceed the applicable
  water quality criterion. State and local public
  health agencies use beach advisories and closings to
  communicate to the public that the level of pathogens
  in the water is unsafe for swimming. As required under
  the BEACH Act, EPA collected state data on beach
  water quality and beach advisories.

  EPA was able to build on the existing voluntary
  National Health Protection Survey of Beaches, which
  was conducted annually from 1997 to 2002, to collect
  information about state and local beach programs. The
  purpose was threefold:

    1.  Create an accurate national inventory of
       swimming beaches and the agencies that oversee
       them.

    2.  Survey agencies about their beach programs,
       including applicable water quality standards,
       monitoring methods, cost, and notification
       procedures for beach advisories and closings.

    3.  Document critical aspects of beach advisory
       and closing issues during the swimming season,
       including the time and length of the actions, the
       reason the actions were taken, and the source(s) of
       pollution that necessitated the actions.

  Participation in EPA's beach survey was voluntary. In
  2002, the last year the survey was conducted, a total of
  227 out of 261 local and state agencies surveyed  from

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Chapter 3: Water Quality Criteria and Quality of Water at Beaches
                                                3-5
NEEAR Water Study interviewers asked beachgoers about their
activities and health status after visits.
31 states and 5 territories submitted information. The
number of beaches in the survey had grown from 1,021
in 1997 to 2,823 in 2002.

Beginning with the 2003 swimming season, coastal
states were required by the BEACH Act to submit
monitoring, notification, and other important
information concerning their beaches to EPA. To
aid in this effort, EPA developed a database called
PRAWN (PRogram tracking, beach Advisories, Water
quality standards and Nutrients). This new system
of data management replaced the annual volunteer
questionnaire EPA had sent out to states, territories,
and other agencies since 1997.

The results of the 2004 PRAWN data collection cycle
indicate that, of the days that beaches could be open,
only 4% were lost due to  an advisory or beach closure
(26 percent of the beaches—942 of 3,574 beaches—had
                                                              A preliminary copy of the NEEAR
                                                              study report is available online at:
                                                              http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/200S/8273/
                                                              abstract.html
at least one advisory or area closed). Most of the
advisories or closings lasted only one or two days.
Monitoring frequency, however, varies among beaches,
making state-to-state comparisons of beach water
quality difficult.

Table 3.2 presents the trends in agency participation, the
number of beaches, and the number and percentage of
advisories and closings reported to EPA for 1997-2004.

3.4   Major sources affecting water
       quality at beaches
Point and nonpoint sources
Both the sources and the mechanisms that transport
pathogens and other pollutants that affect beach water
quality vary according to location (USEPA, 2001). In
general, sources are categorized as either point sources
or nonpoint sources.

• Point sources include discharges from wastewater
  treatment plants, combined sewer overflows (CSOs),
  municipal storm sewer systems, Concentrated
  Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), meat-
  processing facilities, and fish- and shellfish-
  processing facilities. Municipal stormwater often
  contains pathogens from a wide variety of sources,
Table 3.2.  National Health Protection Survey of Beaches Trends, 1997-2004 (USEPA, 2005a)


Number of beaches
Number of beaches affected by
advisories or closings
Voluntary Survey
1997
1,021
230
Percentage of beaches affected by
advisories or closings 23
1998
1,403
353
25
1999
1,891
459
24
2000
2,354
633
27
2001
2,445
672
27
2002
2,823
709
25
Required Reporting
2003
l,857a
395
21
2004
3,574
942
26
1 Incomplete data from 11 states; EPA working to complete data set

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3-6
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    including domestic animals, wildlife, illicit
    discharges, and cross-connected sanitary and storm
    sewers.

  • Nonpoint source pollution comes from numerous
    diffuse sources and is the result of water running
    off the land and picking up pollutants along the
    way. Identifying potential sources and tracking
    their movement is often technically challenging.
    Nonpoint sources of pathogens can include farm
    animals, wildlife, failing septic systems, and faulty
    sanitary sewer lines, as well as land application of
    manure and sludge.

  EPA's National Health Protection Survey of Beaches
  queried participants about the source(s) of pollution
  that caused beach advisories or closings during the
  swimming season. Figure 3.1 presents data from the
  2002 swimming  season. In many cases (42  percent),
  respondents indicated that the pollution source was
  unknown.  When respondents indicated that the source
  was known, storm water runoff was most often identi-
  fied as the cause for the advisory or closing (21  percent).

  SSOs  and CSOs
  In some areas of the United States, sanitary sewer over-
  flows (SSOs) and CSOs have the potential to impact
  beach water quality and swimmer's health. As with
  most pathogen source investigations, CSO and SSO dis-
  charges are often hard to identify and characterize. One
  complication is that the volume and frequency of CSO
  and SSO discharges vary, usually in response to wet
  weather. Consequently, they are hard to monitor and
  track. Nevertheless, their potential impact on beaches
  might be significant.

  In its California Beach Closure Report 2000, for example,
  the California State Water Resources Control Board
  reported that 42 percent of beach closings in 2000 were
  attributable to SSOs (CSWRCB 2001). Orange County,
  California, has noted that the total number of ocean
  and bay beach closings due to SSOs has increased each
  year since 1999 (Orange County 2003).  In the Midwest,
  the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an organization that
  tracks beach closings in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois,
  and Wisconsin, believes that CSOs are associated with a
  high percentage of the beach closings. This conclusion
  is based on data collected from local health depart-
  ments, parks managers, and other municipal agencies.

  3.5  Recommendations for  actions to
        improve beach water quality
  EPA, in its Strategic Plan (USEPA 2003c) and National
  Water Program Guidance for both FY 2005 and FY
  2006 (USEPA 2004a and USEPA 2005b), has identified
                                                  POTW
                                                   2%
                       Unknown
                         43%
     Septic system
         4%
                                                             Sewer line blockage/break
                                                              3%
                                                                    Boat discharge
                                                                         3%
                                                                    Storm water runoff
                                                                          21%
                                                             Wildlife
                                                               11%
  Figure 3.1.  Sources of pollution that resulted in beach actions in 2002 (EPA 2003d)

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Chapter 3: Water Quality Criteria and Quality of Water at Beaches
                                                3-7
"Water Safe for Swimming" as an important objective
for the Agency and has summarized its key national
strategies and actions to help improve beach water
quality. EPA's national strategy for improving the
safety of recreational waters includes four key elements:
  1. Establish a new generation of pathogen indicators
     based on sound science.
  2. Identify unsafe recreational waters and begin
     restoration.

  3. Reduce pathogens levels in all recreational waters.

  4. Improve beach monitoring and public
     notification.

Establish pathogen indicators based on
sound science
EPA worked with states and tribes throughout the
country to implement the adoption of the most recent
(1986) scientific indicators of unsafe pathogens in all
recreational waters.

Identify unsafe recreational waters and
begin restoration
A key component of the strategy to restore waters
unsafe for swimming is to identify the specific waters
that are unsafe and develop plans to  accomplish the
needed restoration. A key part of this work is to main-
tain strong progress toward the development of Total
Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) based on the sched-
ules established by states in conjunction with EPA.

In a related effort, EPA's Office of Water will work
in a new partnership with the Agency's Office of
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) to
better focus compliance and enforcement resources
on unsafe recreational waters. Moreover, wet weather
discharges, which are a major source of pathogens, are
one of OECA's national priorities for FY 2005 through
FY 2007.

Reduce pathogen levels in recreational
waters generally
In addition to focusing on waters that are unsafe for
swimming, EPA, states, territories, and tribes will work
to reduce the overall level of pathogens discharged to
recreational waters using three key approaches:
       For beach safety information visit EPA at
       zuzuw.epa.gov/waterscience/beaches

       For EPA grant information visit:
       www.epa.gov/water/waterplan
1. Address point sources discharging pathogens
  to recreational waters under the permit and
  enforcement program, including discharges
  associated with CSOs, SSOs, POTWs, sewer line
  breaks and urban storm water.

2. In conjunction to implementing NPDES
  requirements, work with municipalities to support
  sustainable municipal wastewater infrastructure
  by insuring adequate funding from all applicable
  sources, better management, effective water use and
  watershed approaches.

3. Encourage improved management of septic systems,
  boat discharges and other nonpoint sources

Discharges from storm sewers, POTWs, CSOs, and
SSOs in urban areas can result in high levels of patho-
gens being released during storm events. Because urban
areas are often upstream of waters where people swim,
these discharges can be a significant source of unsafe
levels of pathogens. EPA is working with states and local

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3-8
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  governments to fully implement NPDES requirements
  for municipal point sources that contribute pathogens
  to recreational waters. This includes fully implement-
  ing the CSO Policy, issuing and implementing permits
  for municipal storm sewer systems, and clarifying and
  applying NPDES requirements for wet weather flows at
  POTWs to improve the capacity, management, opera-
  tion and maintenance of POTW treatment plants and
  separate sanitary sewer collection systems.

  Other key sources of pathogens to the nation's waters
  are discharges from CAFOs, municipal storm water
  systems and industrial facilities. EPA expects to work
  with states to ensure that CAFOs are covered by
  permits. EPA expects that most states will have current
  general permits requiring storm  water management
  programs for Phase II municipalities and construction
  by the end of 2006.

  Finally, there is growing evidence that ineffective
  septic systems are contributing pathogens to rec-
  reational waters. In 2003 EPA issued the Voluntary
  National Guidelines for Management ofOnsite and
  Clustered (Decentralized) Waste-water Treatment Systems to
  enhance the performance and reliability of decentral-
  ized wastewater treatment systems through improved
  management programs. EPA encourages state and local
  governments to use these voluntary guidelines as a tem-
  plate for their efforts to strengthen existing manage-
  ment programs and implement new ones. In addition,
  EPA published a draft Handbook for Management of
  Onsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater Treatment
  Systems, which complements the voluntary guidelines,
  to help state and local governments evaluate and
  upgrade their management programs for onsite and
  clustered (decentralized) wastewater treatment systems.

  Improve beach monitoring and public
  notification
  Another important element of the strategy for
  improving the safety of recreational waters is
  improving monitoring of public beaches and notifying
  the public of unsafe conditions. EPA is working
  with states to implement the BEACH Act and has
  awarded, or is in the process of awarding, $52 million
  in grants. EPA will continue to receive and display
  state information on beach water quality through the
  eBeaches system and will seek to increase the voluntary
  participation of inland states. EPA will also continue
  to develop and maintain information on beach safety
  available through the Internet.

  3.6  Improving beach water quality
        through related programs
  EPA's National Estuary Program (NEP)
  Improving beach water quality is one focus of EPA's
  National Estuary Program (NEP). The NEP program
  was established by Congress in 1987 to improve the
  quality of estuaries of national importance. The 28
  NEPs around our nation's coasts, include many of
  the country's most popular beaches and recreational
  waters. A major focus of the Program is protecting
  and restoring water quality which complements
  the objectives of the BEACH Act. For example, the
  Tampa Bay, FL NEP has created an internet portal
  that provides citizens real-time access to the status
  of swimming beaches within the Tampa Bay area
  including recent water quality monitoring information.
  Also, the Tampa Bay NEP helped establish the Healthy
  Beaches program. This program was eventually
  adopted by the State and now Florida's 34 coastal
  counties perform bi-weekly beach water sampling
  analyzing for bacteria indicating enterococci and fecal
  coliform. The New York - New Jersey Harbor Estuary
  Program (HEP) worked with numerous federal, state,
  and municipal agencies to initiate a long-term water
  quality monitoring program that now covers all of the
  waters of the New York/New Jersey Harbor including
  the recreational waters of Raritan Bay. This work
  included assisting 12 municipal wastewater treatment
  plants in developing a comprehensive monitoring plan
  with annual reports to the public on the condition
  the region's waters. Many NEPs have established or
  support citizen volunteer monitoring networks that
  provide valuable data. The Buzzards Bay NEP in
  Massachusetts has recruited over 300 Bay Watchers
  to monitor 180 stations for various parameters that
  provide an immediate snapshot of the health of the
  Bay. The Indian River Lagoon NEP in FL, provides
  funding for the second largest volunteer estuarine
  monitoring network in the nation. Additional examples
  on NEP BEACH Act related activities can be found at
  www.epa.gov/owow/estuaries.

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Chapter 3: Water Quality Criteria and Quality of Water at Beaches
                                                3-9
EPA's National Marine Debris Monitoring
Program (NMDMP)
EPA's National Marine Debris Monitoring Program
(NMDMP) was developed to determine the amount
of marine debris and the sources of marine debris
affecting U.S. coastlines. The Program is designed to
gather scientifically valid marine debris data using a
rigorous statistical protocol. The Monitoring Program
covers approximately 88,000 miles of U.S. coastline
(including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
Monitoring is conducted every 28 days by teams of
volunteers in nine different regions across the U.S.
The program is currently in the fourth year  of the
five-year study period. A final report and analysis will
be developed in late 2007 at the end of the five-year
study. The report will provide an introduction to the
study, the details of the methodology, and an analysis
of the results, including amounts, types, and trends in
marine debris.

EPA's Sect/on 379 Nonpoint Source
Management Program
Under its section 319 Nonpoint Source Management
Program, EPA support includes grants, technical
assistance, education, training, technology transfer,
demonstration projects, and monitoring for nonpoint
source implementation projects. The section 319
program  has many projects addressing pathogens
throughout the US.

Many watersheds are impaired by pathogens from
nonpoint sources. Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs)
are one category of nonpoint sources that can affect a
given watershed. For example, there are nearly 300,000
Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) in the United
States. When AFOs are concentrated in watersheds,
they may create very significant water pollutions
problems because they can be prominent sources of
pollution such as pathogens and nutrients. Another
category, storm water discharges, can affect watersheds.
Like AFOs, storm water discharges are often near
smaller waterbodies and thus can have significant
water quality impacts. Finally, non-human sources of
pathogens (such as geese and other wild animals) can
raise significant pathogen concerns.
Great Lakes National Program Office
Efforts are underway in the Great Lakes to identify,
on a regional basis, the causes of beach closings
and advisories. Importantly, state, local, and federal
partners have worked together to identify actions that
could be taken to improve water quality at Great Lakes
beaches. One of these actions is the completion of
watershed-based sanitary surveys to identify sources
of bacterial contamination. EPA expects that this work
will result in the development of a tool for watershed-
based sanitary surveys that could be used by others.

3.7   References
Cabelli, V.J. 1983. Health Effects Criteria for Marine
    Recreational Waters. EPA-600/1-80-031. U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH.

CSWRCB (California State Water Resources Control
    Board). 2001. California Beach Closure Report 2000.
    Division of Water Quality, State Water Resources
    Control Board, California Environmental
    Protection Agency,  Sacramento, CA.

Center for Watershed Protection. 1999. Microbes and
    urban watersheds Watershed Protection Techniques.
    3(l):551-596.

Dufour, A.P. 1984. Health Effects Criteria for Fresh
    Recreational Waters. EPA-600/1-84-004. U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH.

Orange County. 2003.2002 Annual Ocean and Bay
    Water Quality Report. Orange County, California,
    Health Care Agency, Environmental Health. June.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1986.
    Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria 1986.
    EPA 440/5-84-002. U.S. Environmental Protection
    Agency, Office of Research and Development,
    Washington, DC.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2002.
    National Beach Guidance and Required Performance
    Criteria for Grants. EPA 823-B-02-004. U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
    Washington, DC. June.

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3-10
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2003b. Draft Management Handbook for Management
      ofOnsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater
      Treatment Systems. EPA 832-D-03-001. U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
      Washington, DC. February.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2003c. Voluntary National Guidelines for Management
      ofOnsite and Clustered (Decentralized) Wastewater
      Treatment Systems. U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency, Office of Water, Washington, DC. March.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2003d. 2003-2008 EPA Strategic Plan: Direction for
      the Future. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
      Office of Water, Washington, DC. September.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2003e. EPA's BEACH Watch Program: 2002
      Swimming Season  Update. EPA 823-F-03-007. U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
      Washington, DC. May.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2004a. National Water Program Guidance: Fiscal
      Year 2005. EPA 832-B-03-001. U.S. Environmental
      Protection Agency, Office of Water, Washington,
      DC. April.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2004b. Report to Congress: Impacts and Control
      ofCSOs and SSOs. EPA 833-R-04-001. U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
      Washington, DC. August.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2005a. EPA's BEACH Program: 2004 Swimming
      Season Update. EPA 823-F-05-006. U.S.
      Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
      Washington, DC. August.

  USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
      2005b. National Water Program Guidance: Fiscal
      Year 2006. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
      Office of Water, Washington, DC. April.
  Wade T.J., Calderon R.L., Sams E. et al. Rapidly
      measured indicators of recreational water
      quality are predictive of swimming-associated
      gastrointestinal illness. Environ Health Perspect
      2006; 114 (l):24-8.

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Chapter 4
Evaluation  of Federal,  State,  and Local
Efforts  to Implement  the  BEACH Act
EPA has been working cooperatively with state and
local partners to implement the provisions of the
BEACH Act. The extensive efforts described in
this chapter have helped reduce human health risks
through better monitoring and public notification.
In general, state and local agencies have the primary
responsibility for conducting beach programs.

The following sections summarize key activities
that federal, state, and local governments have been
implementing since passage of the BEACH Act.

4.1   What has EPA done?
Monitoring and notification performance
criteria
The BEACH Act directed EPA, by April 10, 2002, to
publish "performance criteria" for a beach monitoring
and notification program. The criteria must address
the following:

•  The monitoring and assessment of coastal recreation
   waters adjacent to beaches, or similar points of
   access that are used by the public, for attainment of
   water quality standards for pathogens or pathogen
   indicators, including the use of available methods for
   such monitoring and assessment.

•  Prompt notification of local governments, the
   public, and the EPA Administrator of exceedances,
   or the likelihood of any exceedances, of applicable
   water quality standards for such waters.

To meet the BEACH Act requirement in CWA section
406(a), EPA published the National Beach Guidance and
Required Performance Criteria for Grants (USEPA  2002a).
The document specifies the performance criteria
that eligible coastal or Great Lakes state, tribal, or
local governments must meet to receive grants to
implement coastal
recreation water
monitoring and
public notification
programs under
the BEACH
Act. The 2002
document also
provides useful
guidance for
both coastal and
inland beach
monitoring and
notification
programs. EPA published a notice
of availability of the document in the Federal Register
(67 FR 47540, July 19, 2002).

In the National Beach Guidance and Required
Performance Criteria document, EPA put forth nine
performance criteria for the implementation of beach
monitoring, assessment, and notification programs
(Table 4.1). A brief summary of each criterion is
provided below.

Chapter 3 of the National Beach Guidance is titled
"Beach  Evaluation and Classification Process."
It describes the risk-based evaluation steps and
information that EPA recommends a state or tribe
consider when ranking beaches. There is one general
performance criterion for this process as well as five
specific requirements. The general requirement is as
follows:

1. Develop risk-based beach evaluation and classification
  plan. A state or tribe is required to develop a risk-
  based beach evaluation and classification plan and
  to apply it to coastal recreation waters. The plan
                                                                                          4-1

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4-2
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Table 4.1.   Summary of BEACH Act Performance
              Criteria

    Evaluation and Classification
       1. Develop risk-based beach evaluation and
        classification plan
    Monitoring
       2. Develop tiered monitoring plan
       3. Monitoring report submission and delegation
       4. Methods and assessment procedures
    Public Notification and Prompt Risk Communication
       5. Public notification and risk communication plan
       6. Measures to notify EPA and local governments
       7. Measures to notify the public
       8. Notification report submission and delegation
    Public Evaluation
       9. Public evaluation of program
    must describe the factors used in its evaluation
    and classification process and explain how coastal
    recreation waters are ranked as a result of the
    process. This process would yield a list of coastal
    recreation waters, including coastal recreation
    waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access
    used by the public.

  Chapter 4, "Beach Monitoring and Assessment",
  describes three  general performance criteria and
  several specific  requirements. It also provides
  additional technical guidance for beach monitoring
  programs. The general requirements are the following:

  2. Develop tiered monitoring plan. Development of a
    tiered monitoring plan is required. The plan must
    adequately address the frequency and location of
    monitoring and assessment of coastal recreation
    waters based on the periods of recreational use of the
    waters, the nature and extent of use during certain
    periods, the proximity of the waters to known point
    sources and nonpoint sources of pollution, and any
    effect storm events have on the waters.

  3. Monitoring report submission and delegation. States,
    tribes, and local governments are required to develop
    a mechanism to collect and report their monitoring
    data in timely reports and, for states,  to document
    any delegation of monitoring responsibilities that
    might have been made to local governments. States,
    tribes, and local governments must report their mon-
    itoring data to the public, EPA, and other agencies in
    a timely manner. States are encouraged to coordi-
    nate closely with local governments to ensure that
    monitoring information is submitted in a consistent
    manner. If monitoring responsibilities are delegated
    to local governments, the state grant recipient must
    describe the process by which the state may delegate
    such responsibilities to local governments.

  4. Methods and assessment procedures. Detailed methods
    and assessment procedures must be developed.
    States, tribes, or local governments must adequately
    address and submit to EPA methods  for detecting
    levels of pathogens and pathogen indicators in
    coastal recreation areas. They must also provide
    documentation to support the validity of methods
    other than those currently recommended or
    approved by EPA. In addition, they must identify
    and submit to EPA assessment procedures for
    identifying short-term increases in pathogens and
    pathogen indicators in coastal recreation areas.

  Chapter 5 of the guidance document, "Public
  Notification and Prompt Risk Communication,"
  describes the performance criteria and technical
  guidance for these aspects of a beach program. The
  performance criteria below describe the four general
  requirements for an overall beach notification and risk
  communication plan:

  5. Public notification and risk communication plan. The
    state, tribe, or local government must develop an
    overall public notification and risk communication
    plan. The plan must describe the state's, tribe's, or
    local government's public notification efforts and
    measures to inform the public of the  potential risks
    associated with water contact activities in the coastal
    recreation waters that do not meet applicable water
    quality standards.

  6. Measures to notify EPA and local governments. The
    state, tribe, or local government must adequately
    identify measures for prompt communication of the
    occurrence, nature of, location, pollutants involved,
    and extent of any exceeding of, or likelihood of
    exceeding, applicable water quality standards for
    pathogens and pathogen indicators. They must
    identify how this information will be promptly

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                                4-3
   communicated to EPA. States also must identify how
   this information will be promptly communicated
   to a designated official of the local government for
   the area adjoining the coastal recreation waters for
   which the failure to meet applicable standards is
   identified.

7.  Measures to notify the public. A state, tribe, or local
   government program must adequately address the
   posting of signs at beaches or similar points of
   access, or functionally equivalent communication
   measures, that are sufficient to give notice to the
   public that the coastal recreation waters are not
   meeting or are not expected to meet applicable
   water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen
   indicators.

8.  Notification report submission and delegation. States,
   tribes, and local governments must compile
   their notification plans in timely reports. States
   must describe any delegation of notification
   responsibilities that has been made, or that the state
   intends to make, to  local governments.

Chapter 2, "Public Evaluation of Program," explains
the last criterion:

9.  Public evaluation of program. Provide the public with
   an opportunity to review the program through
   public notice, review, and opportunity to comment.

Cooperative consultation process
EPA developed the National Beach Guidance and
Performance Criteria document through a cooperative
consultation process with a wide variety of agencies
and interested parties. As a first step in this
process, EPA hosted several regional workshops to
identify preliminary concepts and gather specific
recommendations from various parties. EPA
then worked with an external group composed of
representatives from state and local environmental
and health agencies, as well as various environmental
groups. This external group provided much valuable
input to the document. EPA developed a draft guidance
document that reflected many of the concepts and
recommendations suggested by the review groups.

EPA published the draft document on July 31, 2001,
and provided a 60-day comment period that closed on
         WARNING
         OCEAN WATER CONTACT MAY
             CAUSE ILLNESS
          BACTERIA LEVELS EXCEED
            HEALTH STANDARDS
           (AVISO!
         « OWTACTO CO* »GU4 DEL OCEANQ
          PUEKCAUSAIU&FERUEOMES
         US WVELESOE BACTtfiltS BCEDEK
October 1, 2001. During the comment period, EPA
hosted five public forums throughout the United States
to discuss the draft. The final document incorporated
responses to those comments obtained through the
forums and other comments that EPA had received.
Following publication of the performance criteria and
before the award of the first implementation grants,
EPA conducted five regional technical assistance
workshops to help eligible states and territories develop
their monitoring and notification programs.

Program development and implementation
grants
The BEACH Act authorizes EPA to make grants to
coastal and Great Lakes states, territories, tribes, and,
in certain circumstances, local governments to develop
and implement monitoring and notification programs.
EPA may award implementation grants to states only if

• The program is consistent with EPA's performance
  criteria.

• The state (or local government) prioritizes the use of
  grant funds on the basis of use of the water and risk
  to human health, and identifies to EPA the factors
  considered in prioritizing the use of funds.

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4-4
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  • The state (or local government) develops a list of dis-
    crete areas of coastal recreation waters that are subject
    to the program for monitoring and notification for
    which the grant is provided and specifies any coastal
    recreation waters for which fiscal constraints will
    prevent consistency with the performance criteria

  • The state (or local government) provides an
    opportunity for the public to review the program
    through a process that provides for public notice and
    an opportunity for the public to comment.

  Since passage of the BEACH Act, EPA has awarded
  approximately $52 million of grant funds authorized
  under CWA section 406(b) to all 35 eligible coastal
  and Great Lakes states and territories to support
  the implementation of coastal recreation water
  monitoring and public notification programs that are
  consistent with EPA's required performance criteria
  for grants (Table 4.2). States are using the grant funds
  to implement beach monitoring and notification
  programs that are consistent with national guidance.
  The activities include
  • Collecting and analyzing water samples to determine
    whether they exceed, or are likely to exceed, water
    quality standards for public health protection

  • Notifying the public if water quality standards are
    exceeded or are likely to be exceeded
  • Maintaining databases of beach water quality and
    advisory information

  EPA has awarded grants to all eligible states that
  applied for funding, using an allocation formula that
  the Agency developed for allocating BEACH Act
  grant funds in 2002. EPA consulted with various
  states and other stakeholders to develop this formula.
  The formula uses three factors—beach season length,
  beach miles, and beach usage. Because the data for
  beach miles and beach usage were not readily available,
  shoreline length and coastal population were used as
  surrogates.

  EPA's eBeaches:  Information technology
  development for beaches
  Section 406(e) of the CWA, as amended by the BEACH
  Act, directs EPA to establish, maintain, and make
  available to the public, by electronic and other means, a
  national coastal recreation water pollution occurrence
  database that provides the following:
    • The data reported to the Administrator under
      subsections (b)(3)(A)(i) and (d)(3)
    • Other information concerning pathogens and
      pathogen indicators in coastal recreation waters
      that
      • is made available to the Administrator by a
        state or local government from a coastal water
        quality monitoring program of the state or local
        government
      • the Administrator determines should be
        included

  EPA is designing, building, and implementing
  an electronic system to support the BEACH Act
  requirements. The result is a new online system called
  eBeaches. The system provides for the fast, easy, and
  secure transmittal of information about beach water
  quality, and it improves public access to information
  about beach conditions and health risks associated with
  swimming in polluted water. The eBeaches system saves
  time and money by enabling electronic transactions
  and eliminating paper forms and outdated methods of
  data entry. The system  also offers a secure electronic
  environment for fast, easy click-and-send reporting.

  eBeaches receives beach water quality, swimming
  advisory, and monitoring program data from the states
  through EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX), the cen-
  tral receiving point for environmental data submissions
  to the Agency and a cornerstone of EPA's e-government
  initiative. CDX provides built-in data quality checks,

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
4-5
Table 4.2. Annual B
State/Territory
Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
California
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Northern Mariana
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Texas
U.S. Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin
Totals
EACH Act Gn
2001
$58,683
$61,153
N/A
$57,000
$58,694
$58,694
$58,683
$58,683
N/A
$57,000
$58,694
$58,694
$58,650
$58,675
$58,694
$58,675
$0
$58,694
$58,683
$58,675
$58,694
$57,000
$58,683
N/A
$58,694
$54,888
$58,694
$58,694
$58,675
$57,143
$58,650
$58,694
$58,694
$59,959
$58,694
$1,812,580
ints Awards
2002
$263,142
$150,000
$302,288
$535,643
$226,389
$211,339
$530,893
$288,490
$302,775
$325,149
$248,615
$206,670
$383,287
$259,742
$276,068
$260,691
$287,556
$204,631
$258,028
$204,918
$285,719
$366,030
$306,721
$303,462
$227,879
$230,342
$226,953
$335,862
$214,225
$300,253
$387,957
$303,488
$282,355
$274,034
$228,396
$9,999,990
2003
$261,514
$149,025
$300,364
$532,164
$223,921
$210,299
$544,552
$287,442
$300,860
$322,897
$245,043
$204,963
$380,052
$257,766
$273,429
$257,453
$283,360
$203,309
$256,481
$203,594
$282,586
$359,215
$305,007
$301,648
$224,227
$229,757
$223,012
$328,757
$212,340
$298,726
$387,508
$301,483
$281,693
$274,585
$225,970
$9,935,002
2004
$262,810
$150,000
$302,260
$527,850
$224,560
$211,300
$540,220
$288,130
$302,740
$324,230
$245,060
$206,090
$328,520
$257,650
$272,860
$257,220
$282,520
$204,490
$257,900
$204,770
$281,680
$356,240
$305,280
$303,510
$224,840
$230,290
$223,650
$329,900
$213,290
$299,140
$387,190
$303,350
$280,910
$273,980
$226,570
$9,891,000"
2005
$262,650
$150,000
$302,230
$525,460
$224,290
$211,170
$537,390
$287,620
$302,710
$323,930
$244,630
$206,030
$326,780
$256,880
$271,970
$256,580
$281,530
$204,440
$257,810
$204,710
$280,780
$354,580
$304,540
$303,470
$224,580
$229,910
$223,410
$329,570
$213,140
$298,490
$386,150
$303,310
$279,920
$273,080
$226,260
$9,870,000"
2006
$262,170
$150,000
$302,140
$516,960
$223,370
$210,750
$528,410
$286,200
$302,600
$323,020
$242,940
$205,800
$322,010
$254,730
$269,250
$254,440
$278,450
$204,270
$257,510
$204,530
$277,730
$348,740
$302,480
$303,330
$223,650
$228,780
$222,530
$328,450
$212,640
$296,660
$382,890
$303,180
$276,900
$270,320
$225,270
$9,803,100

Total
$1,370,969
$810,178
$1,509,282
$2,695,077
$1,181,224
$1,113,552
$2,740,148
$1,496,565
$1,511,685
$1,676,226
$1,284,982
$1,088,247
$1,799,299
$1,345,443
$1,422,271
$1,345,059
$1,413,416
$1,079,834
$1,346,412
$1,081,197
$1,467,189
$1,841,805
$1,582,711
$1,515,420
$1,183,870
$1,203,967
$1,178,249
$1,711,233
$1,124,310
$1,550,412
$1,990,345
$1,573,505
$1,460,472
$1,425,958
$1,191,160
$51,311,672
1 EPA set aside an additional $50,000 for eligible tribes in 2004 and 2005. No eligible tribes, however, applied for BEACH Act grants during either year.

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4-6
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Web forms, standard file formats, and a common,
  user-friendly approach to reporting environmental
  data. Once CDX receives the beach water quality data,
  the data are transmitted to, and stored in, the Office of
  Water's STORET system, a repository for water qual-
  ity, biological, and physical data. Local beach program
  and advisory data are stored in the Office of Water's
  PRogram tracking, beach Advisories, Water quality
  standards, and Nutrients (PRAWN) data system. Beach
  Map coordinates are stored in the Office of Water's
  Watershed Assessment, Tracking, and Environmental
  Results System (WATERS). Seamless user-friendly
  access to data in all of these systems is available to the
  public through an Internet application named BEACON
  (Figure 4.1).

  eBeaches also allows state and local agencies to
  instantaneously create, edit, and display maps of
  the beaches they are monitoring. Using a tool called
  Web-based Reach Indexing (WebRIT), states or local
  agencies can  make and edit maps available to the public
  on the Internet.

  In 2002 EPA drafted a plan on how to meet its BEACH
  Act requirements to collect, store, and maintain state
  beach data and display the data for the public. The plan
  outlined a new approach for data collection within the
  Agency and for states using standardized file formats
  (XML files), secure electronic data reporting (CDX),
  data conversion interfaces (WebSIM), relational data-
  bases (PRAWN, STORET), and an Internet application
  (BEACON). This new approach has been challenging
  for both EPA and states to develop and implement.

  The electronic data reporting has required new policy
  on data security, data ownership, data sharing, and data
  reporting. It has introduced new technical concepts
  and capabilities for beach program managers to learn
  and implement. It requires a new task for constant
  maintenance of the system hardware and software in
  areas such as version upgrades, data compatibility, and
  system connectivity. As a result, EPA's system has expe-
  rienced periods of down time when states were unable
  to submit their data. Eventually, these maintenance
  periods will be planned maintenance events rather than
  episodic events.

  Initially, all states did not have the trained staff, funding,
  or technological resources to build and maintain their
  data systems. EPA expects that data reporting will
  become easier for states as they further develop their
  systems. The Agency is providing continued support to
  assist states with their data-reporting work.

  eBeaches is also part of the Agency's Environmental
  Information Exchange Network. The Exchange
                                !   eBeaches
  Figure 4.1. The framework of e-Beaches allows seamless user-friendly access of data through the Internet

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                                4-7
Network is a new approach for exchanging
environmental data electronically between EPA, states,
and other partners using network nodes. The Exchange
Network provides improved data quality, better data
integration, and improved availability of environmental
data. To share data on the Exchange Network, the
data must be formatted to common data standards and
the state must have an operating node. EPA has been
working with states to develop their ability to use this
system.  States are beginning to use this technology
to submit beach advisory data to PRAWN. EPA is
developing the technology to allow beach water quality
data submissions over the Exchange Network.

In summary, EPA has improved public access to
data on beach advisories and closings by improving
its electronic system for beach data collection and
delivery systems; the system is known as "eBeaches."
This online system includes a database of monitoring
results and notification actions, thereby fulfilling the
National Pollution Occurrence Database requirement
of the BEACH Act. The public can view the beach
information at http://oaspub.epa.gov/beacon/beacon_
national_page.main.

National List of Beaches
Section 406(g) of the CWA, as amended by the BEACH
Act, directs EPA to maintain a publicly available list of
waters that are subject to a monitoring and notification
program, as well as those not subject to a program. As
a BEACH Act grant condition, states and territories
developed their lists of beaches, identified whether there
is a monitoring program for each beach, and submitted
                               this information to
                               EPA. EPA compiled
                               the submissions
                               into the National
                               List of Beaches and
                                published the list in
                                the Federal Register
                                on May 4, 2004
                                (69 FR 24597).

                                 The National List
                                 of Beaches provides
                                 a national picture
                                 of the extent of
       For more information about BEACON
       visit EPA at: http://oaspub.epa.gov/beacon/
       beacon_national_page.main
       For EPA Exchange Network information visit:
       http://iuww.epa.gov/water/waterplan
beach water quality monitoring. The list identified
6,098 beaches, of which 58 percent are monitored.
This is a significant increase from the 1,969 beaches
of coastal recreation waters that states and territories
had reported to EPA as part of the voluntary National
Beach Survey. The number of beaches has increased
because of BEACH Act grant support. These grants
helped improve state oversight and coordination and
allowed a more comprehensive inventory of beaches
and monitoring locations. EPA will update this list
periodically as new information becomes available from
states and territories.

"Floatables": EPA Technical Assistance
To protect public health and safety in coastal recreation
waters, section 406(f) of the CWA, as amended by
the BEACH Act, directs EPA to provide technical
assistance for developing assessment and monitoring
procedures for floatable materials. In August 2002
EPA published guidance titled Assessing and Monitoring
Floatable Debris.
The guidance
provides examples
of monitoring
and assessment
programs that have
been established in
the United  States
to address the
impact of floatable
debris, examples of
mitigation activities
to address floatable
debris, and contact
information.
Assessing and Monitoring
   Floatable Debris

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4-8
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  EPA Implementation
  Section 406(h) of the CWA, as amended by the BEACH
  Act, requires EPA, for a state that has not developed a
  program consistent with EPA's performance criteria, to
  conduct a monitoring and notification program, using
  grant funds that otherwise would have been awarded to
  the state. This "backstop" requirement is not triggered
  until at least three years after EPA lists waters in such
  states under CWA section 406(g). Because EPA listed
  the waters on April 12, 2004, under section  406(g) EPA
  is not yet authorized to implement the program in any
  state or territory.

  4.2   What have other federal
        agencies done?
  Section 406(d) of the CWA, as amended by the BEACH
  Act, requires federal agencies to develop programs for
  coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar
  points of access within federal jurisdiction by October
  10, 2003. These programs should be designed to protect
  public health and safety, meet EPA's performance
  criteria, and address certain other matters required for
  state and local programs.

  U.S. National Park Service
  The U.S National Park Service (NFS) oversees a
  number of beaches in National Parks throughout
  the United States. Public health for NFS is overseen
  by the Office of Public Health, a part of the Visitor
  and Resource Protection Directorate in Washington,
  DC. This office develops the applicable public health
  guidance, and primarily members of the U.S. Public
  Health Service staff it.

  The applicable NFS guidance and regulations
  govern activities at recreational waters in the parks.
  Specifically, Director's Orders 83 is the governing
  document that describes the Public Health  Program's
  expectations of park managers. The requirements
  in it are in keeping with the requirements set forth
  in Management Policies 2001 of the NFS, Ground
  Penetrating Radar (GPR) Act requirements, and the
  NFS Strategic Plan.

  The responsibility for administering the parks and
  implementing day-to-day activities rests with the
  regional NFS  offices. In some cases recreational waters
  are monitored by state or county authorities; in others
  the responsibility falls on park management. The NFS
  guidance for conducting recreational water quality
  assessments is in the following reference manuals:
  Reference Manual 83(D1) for bathing beaches, Reference
  Manual 83(D2) for swimming pools, and Reference
  Manual 83(D3) for hot tubs and spas.

  Discussed below are some specific beaches
  administered by NFS.

  • NFS Pacific West Region. There are several desig-
    nated public bathing beaches throughout Golden
    Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco
    and Marin County. San Francisco beaches are Baker
    Beach, China Beach, Ocean Beach (north and south),
    Fort Funston, Crissey Field, and Aquatic Park.
    Marin County beaches are Stinson Beach, Rodeo
    Beach, Muir Beach, Kirby Cove, Black Sand Beach,
    Tennessee Valley Beach, and Horseshoe Cove.

    All the beaches are open year-round, but they are
    used more frequently in the summer. San Francisco's
    Bureau of Environmental Health monitors the water
    quality at park beaches in the city. Most of the San
    Francisco beaches are sampled once a week year-
    round for total coliforms, E. coli, and enterococcus.
    Additional monitoring is conducted whenever a CSO
    occurs from the city's sewer system. Test results are
    provided to the park only when there are positive
    samples. In accordance with state requirements,
    monitoring is coordinated in Marin County by the
    County of Marin Environmental Health Services.
    When there are positive test results, the park posts
    the beaches with approved signage. The park works
    with the county to determine the possible source(s)
    of contamination.

  • NFS Northeast and National Capitol Regions. NFS
    staff monitored the presence of bacterial indicators
    of fecal contamination at six ocean beach locations
    within Assateague Island National Seashore
    weekly from May 23 to September 6, 2005. Using
    guidelines developed by EPA, water samples were
    collected from high-use public bathing beaches
    and analyzed for the presence of enterococci
    bacteria. Assay results were compared weekly to
    EPA-recommended numeric standards and used to
    assess risk to swimmer health from contaminants.

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                                4-9
   Sample results ranged from less than 10 to 64 most
   probable number (MPN) of colonies of enterococci
   bacteria per 100 mL, and all results were within
   the range of values considered indicative of safe
   conditions for water contact. Assateague Island
   National Seashore contracts with an EPA-approved
   laboratory (State of Maryland Department of Health
   and Mental Hygiene) to analyze water samples using
   the EPA-approved Enterolert analytical method to
   cut response time, travel time, and analytical costs.
   Results from this monitoring program are shared
   with Worcester County and the State of Maryland.

•  NFS Midwest Region. At Indiana Dunes National
   Lakeshore (INDU), the park monitors its beaches
   daily and has occasionally closed them if E. coli
   reaches 235 colonies/100 mL. This typically happens
   after a heavy rainfall event. EPA helped INDU with
   monitoring procedures last year and helped fund
   studies for the park.

•  NFS Inter-mountain Region. Padre Island National
   Seashore has two monitored beaches. One beach,
   Malaquite, is on the Gulf side of the island; the
   other, Bird Island, is on the lagoon side. The park
   uses Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi for
   collection and analysis.

   Historically, there have been some water quality
   issues of unknown origin. In 2003, 2,030 enterococci
   colonies/100 mL were reported from one sample.
   However, in 2005, all results have indicated low
   levels of bacteria with no beach closures posted.
   The park has not yet been able to determine why
   these variations have occurred, but it is possible that
   variables include hot,  dry weather (no runoff) and
   the fact that construction has caused visitation to
   decrease.

4.3   What have state and territorial
       governments done?
As of the date of this report, 34 of the 35 eligible states
and territories have developed and are implementing a
beach monitoring and notification program consistent
with the requirements of the National Beach Guidance
and Required Performance Criteria for Grants. By doing
so, these 34 states meet the requirements of the BEACH
Act. The remaining state, Alaska, is in the process of
developing a program.

The following sections were written by each state or
territory to highlight the key accomplishments of beach
programs in coastal states and territories. EPA has
not verified and validated these data. These program
descriptions describe recent activities and might include
some actions not funded by BEACH Act funds. Readers
should note that the summaries for the Gulf Coast area
were written before hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These
                                                                                          Padre Island
                                                                                          National Seashore

-------
4-10
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  devastating events, which occurred in August and
  September 2005, will likely have a profound effect on
  the beach programs administered by the affected states
  in the short term.

  Alabama
  In June 1999 the Alabama Department of Environ-
  mental Management (ADEM), in cooperation with
  the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH),
  initiated a program to routinely monitor bacteria levels
  at five public recreational beaches along the Gulf Coast.
  The effort was later expanded to  include six additional
  sites along the Gulf Coast and Mobile Bay. When the
  BEACH Act was signed into law  in 2000, ADEM was
  designated as the state's lead agency and was awarded
  grant money to carry out the monitoring program.
  Through the BEACH Act, ADEM and ADPH
  expanded and enhanced monitoring and notification
  efforts for Alabama's public recreational waters. The
  goal of this program is to increase public awareness and
  provide water quality information to help the public
  make more informed decisions concerning their recre-
  ational use of Alabama's natural coastal waters.

  • Monitoring. The monitoring program now involves
    the routine collection of water samples from 25
    high-use or potentially high-risk public recreational
    sites from  Perdido Bay to Dauphin Island. The
    selection of sites and the frequency of sampling have
    been determined using a risk-based evaluation and
    ranking process. This process  considers a number of
    factors for a given site, most important the amount
    of use and the amount of risk.  Depending on the site
    rankings, samples are collected twice a week, once a
    week, or once every other week during the swimming
    season (June through September) and once a month
    during the cooler months (October through May).

    Samples are analyzed for the indicator bacteria,
    enterococci. The indicator bacteria used and the
    threshold concentration, which triggers an advisory,
    are part of the state water quality standards, which
    are derived from EPA's recommended Ambient
     Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria (1986) and Water
    Quality Standards Handbook  2nd edition (1983).
    All enterococci analyses are performed by ADPH
    Laboratory using EPA Method 1600. Trained ADEM
    and ADPH staff collected samples from the sites.
    In addition, ADEM and ADPH staffs use YSI
    Environmental Monitoring Systems to collect in situ
    data of dissolved oxygen, pH, specific conductivity,
    salinity, and temperature. Turbidity is also collected
    using a field turbidity meter.

  • Public notification. ADPH reviews all data and is
    responsible for issuing any advisories. All test results
    are posted on the ADEM Web site (www.adem.
    state.al.us/FieldOps/Monitoring/BeachMonitoring.
    htm), along with the in situ data, and advisories
    are publicized through press releases and posted
    on signs at each of the 25 sampling locations.
    Over 3,000 samples have been collected since the
    inception of the Beach Program, resulting in 52
    advisories issued by the ADPH. During fiscal year
    2004, over 800 samples were collected and analyzed,
    resulting in 15 beach advisories issued by ADPH.

  Alaska
  Alaska has 36,000 miles of coastal waters, which to a
  large extent are undeveloped, although a great deal
  of recreation occurs on Alaska's beaches throughout
  the year. The Alaska Department of Environmental
  Conservation, Division of Water, Water Quality
  Monitoring & Assessment Program, administers the
  BEACH Act grant program for the state. BEACH Act
  grant-funded work conducted since 2001 has established
  the statewide extent of beaches used for recreational pur-
  poses, the degree of use, and the proximity of pollution
  sources to the beaches. Visit www.dec.state.ak.us/water/
  wqsar/wqs/beachprogram.htm for more information.

  Further work through the BEACH Act grants will
  result in the development  of standardized monitoring
  and notification procedures for Alaska's coastal
  recreational waters where necessary, pilot and ongoing
  monitoring of high-risk beaches, parallel testing of
  fecal coliforms and enterococci, and analysis of results
  of testing for bacteria after various holding times.

  • Beach survey and risk-based beach ranking. Alaska
    conducted a survey of coastal communities to
    identify where beaches were used for recreational
    purposes and what pollution sources might
    contribute to health issues at the beaches. The state
    used the survey results  to develop a ranked list of

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                               4-11
   identified beaches to prioritize where monitoring
   efforts should be focused.

   Field sampling that occurred in summer 2005
   revealed contamination issues at a beach near
   Juneau, but only during high tide. Source tracking
   commenced; local septic systems and an adjacent
   boat harbor were of particular interest.

•  Public notification. Alaska developed a Notification
   and Risk Communication Plan that contains exten-
   sive guidelines for how to conduct a monitoring pro-
   gram, report  the results to communities, and notify
   them if closings are necessary. The state conducted
   workshops in 2004 in communities with identi-
   fied high-risk beaches, resulting in revisions to the
   notification procedures. Alaska will use the refined
   procedures during the coming season if monitoring
   results indicate the need for public notification.

American Samoa
American Samoa is surrounded by approximately 143
miles of beaches. Residents and tourists of American
Samoa use all of the 143 miles of beaches for swim-
ming and family subsistence fishing. The American
Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA)
administers the Coastal Recreation Water Monitoring
and Notification Program for the territory under the
BEACH Act, and it conducts all monitoring and public
notification for these beaches. Based on monitoring
done in FY 2004, ASEPA determined that for swim-
ming use support 56 miles are impaired, 27 miles fully
support this designated use, and 60 miles are likely
supporting  this  designated use but lack suf-
ficient data.
•  Monitoring. Since the monitoring and
   notification program was implemented
   in FY 2002, ASEPA has added 14 new
   beach sites to the program. ASEPA also
   increased the frequency of monitoring
   and public notification for 16 beach sites
   from once every 3 months to once a week.

•  Public notification. Public advisories are
   issued each week in print, radio, and
   television media for all beach samples
   that exceed the American Samoa Water
   Quality Standards for enterococci. The

   number of public inquiries received by ASEPA from
   residents, tourists, and community groups (e.g.,
   EnviroCamp Tifitifi, American Samoa Swimming
   Association, American Samoa National Olympic
   Committee) about weekly advisories has steadily
   increased since FY 2002, indicating the success of the
   public notification program in informing the commu-
   nity, raising awareness, and protecting public health.

California
California has one of the most extensive beach
monitoring programs in the country. County
health agencies in 18 different coastal counties,
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination  System
(NPDES) permittees that discharge to the coastal
zone, environmental groups, and numerous citizen
monitoring groups perform beach monitoring. The
BEACH program is helping California turn these
programs into a coordinated statewide program.

•  Public notification. EPA BEACH Act grant funds
   have been used to help develop and support
   electronic data submission from the coastal counties
   to the state's Beach Watch  System and to EPA.
   The state's Beach Water Quality Work Group  has
   worked with Heal-the-Bay, a Southern California
   environmental organization, to modify the grading
   system for the Beach Report  Card, which provides
   weekly updates on the status of 430 beaches
   statewide (www.healthebay.org/brc/statemap.asp).

•  Pollution removal and future research. California has
   invested $78 million in a Clean Beach Initiative to

-------
4-12
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    clean up bacterial contamination throughout the
    state. The state has also funded research to develop
    more rapid detection of indicators, better methods for
    tracking contamination sources, and epidemiological
    studies to better understand the relationship between
    bacterial indicators and diseases.

  Connect/cut
  Connecticut has state, municipal, and private beaches
  along its shoreline with Long Island Sound. Two of
  the most popular beaches are New London's Ocean
  Beach Park and Rocky Neck State Park, which are both
  EPA-New England-designated "Flagship Beaches."
  Visit the Web site http://dep.state.ct.us/updates/beach/
  wtrqual.asp for more information.

  The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)
  manages the BEACH  Act grant, which funds courier
  service to deliver locally collected beach water samples
  to the DPH state laboratory in Hartford for analysis.
  The grant also funds other beach-related activities
  including hosting two annual technical meetings for
  municipal and state beach officials; collecting and
  managing laboratory test results for municipal beaches
  along the shoreline; managing the annual Beach
  Survey; and reporting monitoring and notification data
  to EPA. Connecticut has received $957,854 in BEACH
  Act grants since 2000. Visit the Web site http://dep.state.
  ct.us/updates/beach/wtrqual.asp for more information.

  • Risk-based beach ranking. DPH uses a risk-based
    approach to monitor high-priority beaches. Through
    two annual meetings and ongoing consultation
    with municipal and state park beach contacts, the
    program is committed to communicating with the
    local communities along the shoreline.

  • Monitoring. The DPH state laboratory analyzes
    more than 1,000 samples every summer for
    Connecticut's municipal and state park beaches
    along the shoreline. The laboratory quickly reports
    exceedances to the affected community.

    Local health authorities often preemptively close
    their beaches as a rapid response public health
    measure when historical data show there is a high
    likelihood of elevated bacteria counts after high
    rainfall events.
  Delaware
  More than 6.1 million beach-going tourist trips are
  made to Delaware each year. Delaware's swimming
  beaches have been sampled since 1979. The state
  implemented a revised and formalized Recreational
  Water Program in 1989. This program has grown
  further under the BEACH Act. Approximately 50
  miles of coastline are now monitored, from Slaughter
  Beach, on the Delaware Bay, south to the State Line at
  Fenwick Island, Delaware/Ocean City, Maryland. In
  addition, a number of freshwater ponds are monitored.

  Visit the Web site www.dnrec.state.de.us/dnreceis/
  Div_Water/Apps/RecWater/Asp/RecWaterPublic.aspfor
  more information.

  • Monitoring. Delaware uses the total enterococci
    standards recommended by EPA and employs
    a preemptive rainfall advisory system for the
    freshwater ponds covered under the program.
    Delaware conducts sampling at areas covered under
    the program from the second Monday in May to
    the second Monday in September. In addition,
    temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and pH data
    are also collected weekly at marine sites.

  Florida
  Florida has numerous important beaches, including
  such popular destinations as Miami Beach, Fort
  Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, Key West, and Panama
  City Beach. The Florida Department of Health
  administers the Beach Monitoring Program in
  conjunction with the county health departments
  and they conduct and oversee monitoring and public
  notification on approximately 580 miles of beaches.
  They have received $1,674,348 in BEACH Act grants
  since 2000.

  • Monitoring. In August 2000 the beach water sampling
    program included 34 of Florida's coastal counties
    through state legislation (Senate Bill 1412 and House
    Bill 2145) and funding. This funding allowed for
    biweekly sampling at just  over 300 sites throughout
    the state. Testing under this program included
    fecal coliforms as well as enterococci bacteria. The
    choice of these two indicator bacteria was based on
    the water quality standards adopted by the Florida
    Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                              4-13
   fecal coliforms and the recommended standards of
   EPA for enterococcus. In August 2002 DEP began
   collecting water samples weekly with additional
   funding from EPA. With the increased sampling
   frequency, the use of enterococcus geometric means
   became possible. Since that point, advisories have
   been based on bacteria levels that exceed either the
   single sample maximum standards for enterococcus
   or fecal coliforms or the geometric mean standard
   for enterococcus.

•  Public notification. The state delegated authority to
   county health departments to conduct the sampling
   and  issue health advisories for areas that exceed
   these standards. The public is then notified through
   a Web site (http://esetappsdoh/irmOObeachwater/
   default.aspx), local media, and signs posted at the
   access points to the swimming area.

Georgia
Georgia has numerous important beaches, including
such popular destinations as St. Simon's Island, Jekyll
Island, and Tybee Island. The Georgia Department of
Natural Resources administers the Beach Monitoring
Program in conjunction with county and local
governments, and they conduct  and oversee monitoring
and public notification on approximately 118 miles
of beaches. They have received $922,745 in BEACH
grants since 2000.

•  Public outreach. The Georgia Department of Public
   Health and Department of Natural Resources
   developed a flier with frequently asked questions.
   The flier, featuring the "Peach on the Beach"
   character, is
   distributed to the
   public by the local
   health department
   and  answers many
   of the questions
   related to beach
   advisories in a
   clear and concise
   manner.

•  Data management. The Coastal Resources Division
   applied for and received an EPA National
   Environmental Information Exchange Network
   (NEIEN) grant to develop a method of transmitting
   the beach data into EPA WebSIM via the Georgia
   network node. The Division then contracted with
   Acclaim Systems to develop an Oracle database
   with a Web-based front end and data transport
   capabilities.

   The Oracle application automatically calculates the
   rolling 30-day geometric mean and automatically
   generates an e-mail and sends it to the laboratory
   manager and to the CRD manager notifying
   them when the EPA-recommended level has
   been exceeded. Programmed into the geometric
   mean application is a "what if calculator that
   automatically displays the hypothetical value of the
   next sample needed to reach the EPA geometric
   mean threshold. This function is useful to beach
   managers for projecting what might happen with a
   particular beach in the near future.
Guam
The Guam Environmental Protection Agency
(Guam EPA) administers the beach monitoring
and notification program for the territory. Tourists,
fishermen, and the public use the beaches and lagoons
of Guam heavily every day. Guam has approximately
31.5 miles of beaches. The BEACH program has
been instrumental in maintaining and enhancing
the territory's water quality and marine monitoring
programs over the past four years.

•  Monitoring. Guam's Recreational Beach Monitoring
   Strategy focuses on the monitoring of "whole-body"
   (primary-use) and "limited whole body" (secondary-
   use) recreational marine waters for the presence
   of microbiological organisms. This program is
   important because consistent monitoring ensures
   the protection of the public from diseases such
   as gastroenteritis, hepatitis, and cholera caused
   by elevated levels of microbiological organisms.
   Guam EPA monitors 38 fixed stations weekly along
   Guam's most frequently used coastal beaches (Tier 1
   beaches) for enterococci bacteria.

•  Public notification.  When samples exceed the single
   sample maximum or geometric mean criteria for
   enterococci bacteria, an advisory is released to notify
   the public that the beach is closed or to warn against
   swimming. These bacteria criteria were updated in

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4-14
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    FY 2004 in the water quality regulations. Guam uses
    the local media (newspapers and TV) and its Web site
    to provide real-time results to the public. The Web
    site posts the weekly results and historical summaries
    to communicate potential risks to the public (www.
    guamepa.govguam.net/programs/emas/beach.
    html#REPORT). Furthermore, all reports listed
    above are accompanied by a press release making
    them available to any member of the public.

  Hawaii
  There are more than 400 beaches in Hawaii, including
  such well-known beaches as Waikiki and Lanikai.
  Although the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH)
  had an established beach monitoring program prior
  to the first award of BEACH Act grant funds, the
  addition of these funds has enabled Hawaii to expand
  its monitoring efforts from a small group of highly
  visited beaches to a wider range of coastal beaches
  throughout Hawaii's 297 miles of beaches. These grant
  funds have also assisted Hawaii in developing its public
  notification system. Hawaii has received $1,030,971 in
  BEACH Act grant funds since 2001.

  • Risk-based beach ranking. The HDOH developed a
    risk-based ranking system to classify beaches on
    the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii.
    HDOH used this ranking system to determine
    the monitoring frequency of beaches in the state,
    allowing monitoring efforts to focus throughout  the
    entire year on beaches with high visitation while
    also providing periodic monitoring surveillance
    of other beaches throughout the state. Ranks are
    revised as additional information becomes available.

  • Monitoring. HDOH increased monitoring frequency
    from once a week to twice a week at high-use beaches
    and developed a rotating schedule for monitoring
    beaches with lower use on a periodic basis.  Hawaii is
    in the process of increasing the monitoring frequency
    for high-use beaches to four times a week.

  Illinois
  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
  has been responsible for licensing bathing beaches in
  Illinois since 1974. IDPH's BEACH Program goals  are
  to improve public health and environmental protection
  programs for beachgoers and to provide the public with
         PLEASE  DON'T
        FEED  THE

          WATERFOWL
          Waterfowl can become dependent
           on handouts and their feces can
               lead to swimming bans.
          ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
                    frrt*i+
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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                              4-15
Park, with 2 main sections of beaches, along with
14 other county and city beaches. The Indiana
Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
administers the Beach Monitoring and Notification
Program in conjunction with the Lake County Parks
and Recreation Department, the Hammond Health
Department, the East Chicago Department of Public
and Environmental Health, the Gary Sanitary District,
the Town of Ogden Dunes, the Town of Dune Acres,
and the LaPorte County Health Department.  IDEM
has received $676,000 in BEACH Act grants since
2000. Its goals are improving public health and
environmental protection programs for beachgoers
and informing the public of the water quality at their
beaches.

•  Monitoring. Prior to the BEACH Act grant, E.
   coli monitoring occurred only one day a week at
   Indiana's Lake Michigan beaches. Since receiving
   funding, Indiana has been able to increase the
   sampling frequency to five to seven days a week at
   most of its Lake Michigan beaches. In addition,

                 i,'
                                      %g
                                      \^
   in 2004 IDEM used grant dollars to fund two
   predictive model development projects with the
   goal of increasing the efficiency of the monitoring
   activities along the Lake Michigan shoreline in the
   future.

•  Public notification. Indiana's Lake Michigan beach
   managers have requested that IDEM provide real-
   time information regarding CSO discharge events. In
   conjunction with the Earth911 data reporting system
   Web site (www.earth911.org/waterquality), IDEM
   is working to implement a pilot project designed
   to provide real-time information regarding CSO
   discharge events to local beach managers and the
   public. This project will be linked to Indiana's Beach
   Program Web site (www.in.gov/idem/beaches).

Louisiana
(Note: This highlight was revised after hurricanes Katrina
and Rita to reflect current conditions.)

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4-16
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Louisiana has several beaches historically visited by the
  public, including the highly frequented Fountainebleau
  State Park, Grand Isle State Park, Cypremort Point
  State Park, Fourchon Beach, and Holly Beach. The
  Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
  (LDHH) administers the Beach Monitoring Program
  in the state and conducts, or contracts with other
  state and local governments to conduct on its behalf,
  monitoring and public notification. Prior to hurricanes
  Katrina and Rita, monitoring was conducted on
  approximately 23 miles of beaches.

  LDHH completed a thorough, systematic review of
  available data and information to identify and rank
  Louisiana's beaches according to risk. LDHH uses
  the resulting beach classification scheme as a basis for
  monitoring the state's high-priority beaches. (See www.
  oph.dhh.state.la.us/sanitarianservices/beachmonitor/
  index.html and click on "Louisiana's BEACH Act
  Grant Report"  for a description of the state's process
  for identifying  priority beaches.) LDHH also has
  developed a high-quality public notification program
  that efficiently uses beach signs, the department's
  Web site, press releases, and direct contact of partner
  agencies and local officials to communicate to the
  public if beach advisories are warranted. Because of
  extensive damage to the state's beaches and associated
  infrastructure by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, LDHH
  is reevaluating  the state's existing List of Beaches to
  determine whether  the list and associated monitoring
  schedules need to be revised.

  Maine
  Maine has 46 beaches, which are critical to the viability
  of its tourist industry. These include such popular
  places as Old Orchard Beach and Wells Beach in
  southern Maine and Mount Desert Island, home of
  Acadia National Park, bordering the downcast section
  of the 5,250-mile coast. The Maine Coastal Program/
  State Planning Office manages the Maine Healthy
  Coastal Beaches Program in cooperation with the
  University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea
  Grant (responsible for coordination of the program).
  Maine has received $1,090,713 in BEACH Act grants
  since 2001.
  • Monitoring. With EPA BEACH Act grant funds,
    Maine has been able to develop a statewide monitor-
    ing and notification program, recruiting 19 towns
    and State Parks representing 42 beach manage-
    ment areas. This non-mandatory, local-jurisdiction
    program put in place an EPA-approved Quality
    Assurance Project Plan and developed a tiered moni-
    toring approach with protocols, regional laboratories,
    training, and multiple resources for the program.

  • Public  outreach and education. This new and voluntary
    program employed a  marketing plan, and resources
    were developed to reach a broad audience through
    radio, television, news media, posters, flyers,
    brochures, and a user-friendly and informative
    Web site, www.MaineHealthyBeaches.org. A public
    interface to Maine's on-line database was launched
    on the Web site May  2005, and it offers a wealth of
    information on the beach science, status, and data
    for the program.

  Maryland
  Each summer many state residents and visitors go to
  Maryland beaches for outdoor recreation and vacations.
  To protect the beach-going public, Maryland delegates
  a beach monitoring and public notification program to
  its local health departments. Beginning in the 1980s,
  each county had its own, independently developed
  program. From timing and frequency of sampling
  to methods of public notification, counties have had
  very different programs in terms of resources spent on
  beaches and priority given to public natural bathing
  areas. Maryland's goal, with the use of BEACH Act
  grant money and EPA guidance, was and is to maintain
  a standardized beach program for its coastal counties.
  Maryland has adopted the EPA-recommended
  indicators and criteria.

  • Monitoring. Predictive models are being developed
    for high-use beaches  in Maryland. Projects to
    monitor pollution sources affecting bathing areas
    have identified and remedied water quality problems
    at beaches.

  • Public  notification. Public notification, education, and
    outreach have increased awareness of the potential
    risks and hazards of bathing in natural waters,
    as well as providing public advisory information,

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                              4-17
   resulting in a better-educated and safer public.
   Additional information for the Maryland Beaches
   Program is available by calling 1-800-633-6101, x
   3906 or by visiting the Web site http://www.mde.
   state.md.us/CitizensInfoCenter/Health/beaches.asp.

Massachusetts
Every year people head to bathing beaches in Massa-
chusetts for vacation, relaxation, and recreation. The
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)
is responsible for implementing of the bathing beach
monitoring program at more than 500 coastal beaches
in the state. The BEACH Act resulted in funding that
MDPH has used to increase and implement consistent
water quality monitoring throughout the state, increase
public awareness of beach water quality issues, and
identify areas of concern. Massachusetts has received
$1,090,645 in BEACH Act grants since 2000.

•  Monitoring. MDPH has achieved weekly monitoring
   at the state's public and semi-public marine beaches.

•  Public notification. MDPH has developed a public
   notification Web site (www.mass.gov/dph/beha/tox/
   reports/beach/beaches.htm), where water quality
   information and beach open/closed status is shown
   in near-real time.
Michigan
Michigan has received a total of $1,134,966 in BEACH
Act funding to support monitoring programs for
327 public beaches in 41 counties along the state's
3,200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Local health
departments request an average of $380,000 of BEACH
Act funds per year from the Michigan Department
of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for local beach
monitoring programs for approximately 200 high-
priority beaches. The BEACH Act allocation for
Michigan provides funding to support monitoring once
a week at 80 beaches for part of the summer and 100
beaches for most of the summer.

• Monitoring. All beach monitoring data are reported
  to and evaluated by the MDEQ. The MDEQ
  incorporates beach monitoring data into other water
  pollution prevention programs to encourage strategic
  improvements in water quality.

• Public  notification. The Michigan Beach Monitoring
  Web site (http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7-
  135-3313,00.html) immediately provides current
  and historical test results for E. coli and beach
  closings/advisories as they are reported from health
  departments for all public beaches in Michigan. All
  public beaches are required to post a sign indicating
  whether the beach is monitored and where the
  results can be found.

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4-18
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Minnesota
  Minnesota has a number of important beaches, includ-
  ing the 5-mile-long Park Point beach within the city
  of Duluth and beaches in a number of state parks. The
  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency administers the
  Beach Monitoring Program in conjunction with Cook
  County, Lake County, St. Louis County, the City of
  Duluth, the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District,
  the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the
  Minnesota Department  of Health, the University of
  Minnesota-Duluth, Sea Grant, Clean Water Action, the
  Natural Resources Research Institute, and local clubs
  such as the Park Point Community Club and the  Duluth
  Boat Club. Minnesota conducts or oversees monitor-
  ing and public notification on approximately 58 miles
  of beaches. The state has received $467,815 in BEACH
  Act grants since 2000.
    continually updated with the latest advisories, and
    the public can call an 800 number to hear beach
    advisory information. Minnesota also has a good
    working relationship with the local media.
  • Monitoring. Since the Minnesota Pollution Control
    Agency started monitoring 35 beaches in 2002 (will
    be 39 in 2005), the level of awareness of bacterial
    pollution of recreational waters in the region, as
    well as in the state, has risen dramatically. The
    understanding that wastewater overflows and
    bypasses can have an effect on beach water quality
    has led to the demand for solutions to the inflow and
    infiltration problems in the region.

  • Public notification. Minnesota has improved many
    aspects  of its public notification process. The
    state has developed an exceptional interactive and
    informative Web site (www.MNBeaches.org) that
    summarizes key information about beach advisories
    and closings. E-mail notices are automatically sent
    to interested parties. A local phone message is
  Mississippi
  (Note: this highlight was not revised after hurricanes Katrina
  and Rita to reflect current conditions.)

  Mississippi has numerous important beaches, including
  such popular destinations as Biloxi and Gulfport.
  The Mississippi Department of Environmental
  Quality administers the Beach Monitoring Program
  in conjunction with the State Beach Monitoring Task
  Force, and they conduct and oversee monitoring
  and public notification on approximately 40 miles
  of beaches. They have received $831,092 in BEACH
  grants since 2000.

  • Monitoring. Under the BEACH Act, the Mississippi
    Beach Monitoring Program was expanded in
    2005 to include 22 beaches, and the frequency of
    sampling was increased for 7 beaches. Sixteen of
    the 22 beaches were classified as Tier 1 beaches,
    and they are monitored 10 times a month during
    the recreational season (May through October). Six
    Tier II beaches are monitored 4 times a month. All
    beaches are monitored 4 times a month during the
    non-recreational season.

  • Public notification. During 2000, MDEQ developed
    a Beach Monitoring Web site to notify the public
    of the water quality at Mississippi beaches and
    to provide historical beach monitoring bacteria
    data. The Web site is at http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/
    msbeach/indes. This Web site provides near real-
    time data from  all the monitoring locations, current
    beach advisories, beach locations and pictures of
    all the monitored beaches, and maps locating the
    sampling sites. If bacteria levels reach unsafe levels,
    advisory notices are placed on the beach stating that
    swimming is not recommended until bacteria levels
    return to safe levels. The advisories remain  in place
    until the monitoring data indicate that the water is
    safe for swimming and water contact.

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                               4-19
New York
New York has 347 regulated beaches located on Lake
Erie, Lake Ontario, the Atlantic Ocean, and Long
Island Sound, including such well-known beaches
as Jones Beach State Park, Rockaway Beach, Coney
Island, and Robert Moses State Park. The New York
State Department of Health administers the Beach
Monitoring Program in conjunction with 11 subcon-
tractors, including 8 organized county health depart-
ments; the New York City Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene; the New York State Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historical Preservation; and one State
Health Department District Office, which conduct the
monitoring and public notification program for the
state's approximately 53 miles of coastal beaches. Since
2001 the New York State Department of Health has
received $1,138,485 in grants from EPA to fund these
monitoring and notification programs.

• Monitoring. Since the inception of the BEACH Act
  grant program, 35 new beaches have been added to
  the inventory of coastal beaches  in New York State
  while 5 beaches originally listed have been dropped.
  The current list of 347 coastal beaches represents a
  net increase of 30 beaches.

• Risk-based beach ranking.  The New York State
  Department of Health, through its subcontractors,
  thoroughly assesses all the coastal beaches and
  uses a risk-based approach to monitor all regulated
  beaches. Beaches assessed as high risk are monitored
  at least weekly during the bathing season, while
  those assessed as medium or low risk are monitored
  less frequently.

New Hampshire
New Hampshire administers a Public Beach Inspection
Program, or Beach Program, that monitors, inspects,
and provides public notification for 16 coastal public
beaches. New Hampshire's coastal beaches are a
valuable recreational and economic resource, and they
include Hampton Beach  State Park, New Hampshire's
premier coastal beach attraction. New Hampshire has
received $876,994 in BEACH Act grants since 2000.

• Monitoring. New Hampshire has increased the
  number of coastal beaches monitored from 9 in 2000
  to 16 in 2005, and the  program now includes weekly
   monitoring at 14 high-priority beaches. All beaches
   are subject to annual risk-based beach evaluations,
   which are the basis of New Hampshire's Tiered
   Monitoring Plan.

•  Public notification. New Hampshire has developed a
   detailed Web site to inform the public of the health
   risks associated with beach recreational  activities.
   The Web site includes features  such as a current
   advisories page, an illness report form, a public
   comment section, and annual coastal beach reports.
   Other means of outreach include signage indicating
   beach monitoring status, numerous fact  sheets, and a
   brochure.

New Jersey
Since 1974 the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP)  has administered
the Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP),
in which 10 local environmental health agencies
participate. The CCMP assesses nearshore coastal water
quality and investigates sources of water pollution. To
date DEP has received $908,679 in EPA BEACH Act
grants. DEP also received an EPA challenge grant to
create a centralized database that will allow for the
timely reporting of water quality conditions at New
Jersey's beaches.

•  Monitoring and notification. The  local health agencies
   collect water samples each week and perform the
   water analyses for enterococci concentrations at 186
   ocean and 139 bay monitoring stations. The CCMP
   enables local health agencies  to respond to immediate
   public health concerns arising from contamination in
   coastal recreational areas. In  addition, DEP performs
   aerial surveillance of nearshore coastal waters six
   days a week during the summer. This surveillance
   enables the routine evaluation of coastal water quality
   and the assessment of the nature and extent of public
   reports of ocean pollution. The information collected
   under the CCMP assists  the DEP in developing
   coastal zone management strategies such as land use
   planning to control pollution from nonpoint sources.

North Carolina
North Carolina has numerous important beaches,
including such popular destinations as Wrightsville
Beach, Atlantic Beach, and the Outer Banks. The North

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4-20
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Carolina Department of Environment and Natural
  Resources administers the Beach Monitoring Program,
  and it conducts monitoring and public notification on
  approximately 330 miles of beaches. The Department
  has received $975,691 in BEACH Act grants since 2000.
  North Carolina has developed and implemented an
  extensive outreach and education program to educate
  local governments, the public, and state elected officials
  about the Beach Monitoring Program. This has led to
  increased credibility of the program and the investment
  of all parties in making the program successful. Also, at
  the beginning of 2004 the North Carolina Commission
  for Health Services passed new rules codifying the EPA
  beach guidance at the state level.

  • Public outreach: North Carolina Recreational Water
     Quality (RWQ) staff developed an extensive outreach
     and education  plan, targeted to different audiences
    both internal and external to state government. The
     audiences include state agency employees; state-level
    legislative representatives from coastal counties; local
     government officials and boards of health; interest
     groups, including tourism, environmental organiza-
    tions, and pier and camp owners; and local business
     interests  near sampling sites. They created brochures
     and fact sheets and the beginnings of a Web-based
     data system that would allow the public access to
    water quality data for their chosen beaches.

    The public can access  beach water quality data that
     are updated weekly, as well as information about
    the program and downloadable brochures, on the
    program's Web site at http://www.deh.enr.state.
    nc.us/shellfish/Water_Monitoring/RWQweb/home.
    htm. In addition, the RWQ staff instigated a series of
     face-to-face talks and meetings, which has been their
    most valuable outreach tool.

  Northern  Mariana Islands
  The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
  (CNMI) Division of Environmental Quality
  administers the beach monitoring and notification
  program for the territory. The beaches and lagoon
  waters of CNMI are used heavily daily by tourists,
  fishermen, and the public. CNMI has a little more
  than 28 miles of beaches. The BEACH program has
  been instrumental in maintaining and enhancing
  the territory's water quality and marine monitoring
  programs over the past four years. On the basis of
  beach monitoring, CNMI found that of the 28 miles
  of beaches, 8 miles are impaired, 6.5 miles are fully
  supporting their designated uses, and 13.8 miles
  are likely supporting their designated uses but lack
  sufficient data.

  • Monitoring. Beach samples are monitored not only
    for enterococci bacteria, but also salinity, dissolved
    oxygen, phosphates, nitrates, temperature, pH,
    and turbidity. The beach monitoring complements
    CNMI's long-term coral reef ecosystem monitoring
    and biocriteria development efforts. Beaches that
    have a high potential risk for harmful pathogens
    and are heavily used by the public are all considered
    Tier 1 beaches.

  • Public notification!outreach. When samples exceed the
    single sample or geometric mean enterococci bacte-
    ria limits in the water quality regulations, the beach
    is "red flagged," meaning a warning is provided to
    the public not to swim in these waters. DEQ uses
    the local media (two newspapers) and its Web  site
    to provide real-time results to the public. The  Web
    site (www.deq.gov.mp/beach%20monitoring%20web/
    Map%20Choice.htm) presents the weekly results and
    historical summaries to communicate potential risks
    to the public. Furthermore, all reports listed above
    are accompanied by a press release making them
    available to any member of the public. Signs are
    posted at six frequently used beaches regarding the
    most  recent testing results, and CNMI is beginning
    to install signs at all other locations.

  Oh/o
  Ohio regards its border with Lake Erie as a primary
  natural resource for commerce, tourism, and recreation.
  The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has moni-
  tored many of the  numerous public beaches along the
  lake since 1973. With the cooperation of its partners
  (the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the  Ohio
  Environmental Protection Agency, local health depart-
  ments, and other interested agencies and organiza-
  tions), ODH continues to conduct a beach monitoring
  program each year, generating needed  data for allowing
  the public to make informed decisions  about its aquatic
  recreation.

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                              4-21
• Monitoring. Since 2002 ODH has used BEACH
  Act grant funding to increase the frequency of
  monitoring of Lake Erie beaches from twice per
  month to four times each week per beach. This
  frequency allows for swifter identification of bacteria
  problems and thus shortens the time involved in
  notifying the public of potential health hazards.

• Public notification. ODH provides beach water quality
  data, beach advisories, and information regarding its
  monitoring program on the department's Web site at
  www.odh.ohio.gov. Information on advisory status
  is also provided through a toll-free telephone line
  (1-866-OHIO-BCH) for people who lack access to
  the Internet. BEACH Act funding also has assisted
  in the development of informational pamphlets that
  are distributed throughout the Ohio/Lake Erie area.
  Future funding will allow for the development of
  bilingual signage and other written information.
Oregon
In Oregon the public is guaranteed free and
uninterrupted use of all beaches along the coastline.
Oregon's Parks and Recreation Department
administers the ocean shore as a state recreation
area. The state's Department of Human Services
administers the Beach Monitoring Program and works
in conjunction with the Department of Environmental
Quality and the Parks and Recreation Department
to implement the program. Since 2002 Oregon has
received a total of $747,600 in BEACH Act grant funds.

•  Monitoring. The Oregon Beach Monitoring Program
   conducts monitoring year-round and uses an
   adaptive sampling approach. The beaches sampled
   may change seasonally as use patterns and the
   presence of bacteria change. (http://oregon.gov/DHS/
   ph/beaches/beaches.shtml)

•  Public notification. Oregon has significantly
   enhanced its information delivery system with
   the development of a new Web site, improved
   signage and news releases, and collaboration with
   the Oregon Coastal Atlas to display and broadcast
   monitoring data on its Web site at www.coastalatlas.
   net/learn/topics/waterquality/beach.

Pennsy/von/a
There are 12 permitted coastal recreational beaches
on the southern shore of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania.
All the beaches are in Erie County, which has the only
coastal beaches in the Commonwealth. Annually, over 3
million people visit Presque Isle State Park, which has
11 beaches.

EPA awards a BEACH Act grant to the Erie County
Department of Health (ECDH).

•  Monitoring. Pennsylvania has adapted the E. coli
   standards recommended by EPA. A predictive
   model of recreational beach water quality based
   on weather, known sewage discharges, storm
   events, and water currents is being formulated. The
   information would be used to see  if a correlation
   could be established with weather and high bacteria
   counts. If a predictive model were established, it
   would allow the beach managers to close beaches on
   a presumptive basis. This could prevent swimming
   in contaminated waters.

•  Public notification. ECDH is developing a Web site to
   provide the public with updated information on the
   water quality of permitted Lake Erie beaches.

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, which includes two additional inhabited
offshore islands (Vieques and Culebra) and various
small uninhabited islands, provides more than 100
coastal segments  that are used for bathing nearly
all year long. Not all these coastal segments are
designated beach areas. The various  designated
beach areas are operated by one of the following:
the National Parks Company, the Department of
Natural and Environmental Resources, or the specific

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  municipalities where the beach is located. In all cases
  the Environmental Quality Board is responsible
  for ensuring that the water quality of the coastal
  segments complies with the applicable water quality
  standards through monitoring on alternate weeks
  and enforcement actions whenever noncompliance is
  discovered.
  • Monitoring. In the Beach Monitoring Program,
    Puerto Rico has initially included the 22 major
    (most frequented) beaches throughout the coastal
    shoreline of the territory. The Environmental
    Quality Board monitors all 22 beaches for
    bacteriological and physical parameters on alternate
    weeks. Any noncompliance with respect to water
    quality is addressed immediately through a
    resampling sequence. The compliance status of each
    beach program is announced publicly in newspapers
    and on the Environmental Quality Board's Web site
    at www.jca.gobierno.pr.

  Rhode Island
  Rhode Island has 70 environmentally and economically
  important coastal beaches. The Rhode Island
  Department of Health (HEALTH) administers the
  Beach Monitoring Program, with the support of the
  Department of Environmental Management, the
  Department of Transportation, the University of Rhode
  Island, and the Office of the Governor. HEALTH
  conducts monitoring at approximately 25 miles of
  beaches and notifies the public whenever a beach is
  opened or closed. HEALTH has received $911,769 in
  BEACH Act grant funding since 2000.

  • Monitoring. HEALTH has conducted  sanitary
    surveys at all  70 licensed coastal beaches. A review
    of existing information, collection of geographic
    data, water quality monitoring, and extensive field
    surveys have allowed HEALTH to target resources,
    such as increased monitoring, to the beaches of
    greatest risk to public health.

  • Source identification. HEALTH has worked to
    coordinate a multi-agency response to beach
    closings.  The Governor of Rhode Island has charged
    HEALTH with not only monitoring beaches but
    also partnering with local, state, and federal agencies
    to identify and eliminate sources of pollution that
    cause the beaches  to be closed.
  South Carolina
  South Carolina has numerous important beaches,
  including Myrtle Beach, Kiawah, and Hilton Head.
  The Department of Health and Environmental Control
  (DHEC) administers the Beach Monitoring Program in
  conjunction with some local authorities, and together
  they conduct and oversee monitoring and public
  notification on approximately 180 miles of beaches.
  They have received $986,868 in BEACH Act grants
  since 2000. As noted above, the state has worked with
  local authorities through the use of mini-grants to
  implement the program. This allows strong working
  relationships between state and local governments
  and gives local governments a greater commitment to
  seeing the beach monitoring program  work.

  • Data management. South Carolina's existing
    Environmental Facility Information System (EFIS)
    is used to manage monitoring and advisory data.
    All monitoring data are entered into EFIS through
    manual entry or uploaded from the  Laboratory
    Information System (LIMS). The program
    coordinator enters advisory information is into EFIS.

  • Tiering of Beaches. In August 2005 DHEC's Bureau
    of Water plans to issue a contract for continued
    surveying at sites identified previously as Tier 3.
    This contractor will verify the site locations, develop
    necessary survey forms if sampling is needed,
    document public access and use, and determine
    sources of pollution.

  Texas
  Texas has numerous popular beaches,  including
  beaches in the vicinity of such important destinations
  as Galveston, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island.
  The Texas General Land Office (GLO) administers
  the Texas Beach Watch Program in conjunction with
  various contracted entities, including local county
  health departments, universities, and municipalities.
  GLO oversees monitoring and public notification on
  approximately 144 miles of beaches in Texas. GLO has
  received $1.23 million in BEACH Act grants since 2000.

  • Tiering of beaches. GLO thoroughly evaluated all
    of the state's beaches. The Office identified beach
    segments that are used most frequently by the
    public and determined where health risks to large

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                              4-23
  swimming populations are greatest. Based on the
  results of this risk-based approach, GLO prioritized
  all defined beach segments for implementation of its
  monitoring and public notification program. Before
  passage of the BEACH Act of 2000, the state was
  sampling at 13 of the most popular beaches on the
  Texas coast using state funds. Using the BEACH Act
  grants, Texas has expanded its sampling program,
  and data collection now occurs at approximately
  59 beaches in 7 counties. (See http://www.glo.state.
  tx.us/coastal/beachwatch/index.html for a description
  of GLO's classification of beaches and monitoring
  plan.)

Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) consists of four main
islands—St. Thomas, St. John, Water Island, and St.
Croix. These islands harbor some of the most fascinat-
ing and beautiful marine environments in the world.
These aquatic resources have contributed to drawing an
average of 2 million divers, beachcombers, and sightse-
ers per year, spending nearly $100 million from 1997 to
the present. The USVI also has a coastline greater than
185 nautical miles, allowing for public access at hun-
dreds of locations during a year-round swimming sea-
son. These unique factors led to the development and
implementation of the USVI BEACH Water Quality
Monitoring Program, which is essential for the protec-
tion of both beachgoers and the marine resources.

• Monitoring. The 2001 BEACH Act grant was used
  to develop the program's Quality
  Assurance Project Plan. Second-
  year funds were used to implement
  the program. A total of 43 beaches
  were selected—20 on St. Croix, 15
  on St. Thomas, and 8 on St. John.
  Sampling officially began in the
  St. Thomas/St. John district in July
  2004 and in the St. Croix district
  in August 2004. The selected
  beaches are monitored weekly. Two
  state-approved labs were selected
  to perform the analysis, one on
  St. Croix and one on St. Thomas,
  and both use EPA method 1600 for
  enterococci analysis.
• Public notification/outreach. The USVI BEACH
  program is establishing a Web site and a toll-free
  number to ensure that the public has access to the
  data collected and the public advisory status of each
  beach. The program is using temporary beach water
  quality warning signs until the permanent signs are
  completely assembled. The program has conducted
  public outreach to several local public schools, and
  several interviews with the local media have been
  held.

Virginia
Virginia has been monitoring the bathing beaches at
Norfolk and Virginia Beach since the 1970s. In 2001
Virginia received the first EPA BEACH Program
grant to implement a Beach Monitoring and Public
Notification Program for the 2002 swimming season
at bathing beaches along the Atlantic coast and the
Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. This grant was used to
implement a state-level coordinated beach monitoring
program at Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The Virginia
Department of Health (VDH) coordinates the program,
and state employees in the local health departments
carry out weekly monitoring.

• Monitoring. In 2003 the Beach Monitoring Program
  was expanded to include additional beaches along
  the Virginia coast. The Beach Monitoring Program
  in Virginia provides seasonal water monitoring
  coverage of bathing beaches at Virginia Beach,

                                                              -
                              ,
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4-24
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, and Yorktown;
    the eastern shore of Virginia; and Gloucester and
    King George counties.

  • Public notification. State employees in seven different
    Health Districts participate in the program by
    conducting sampling and posting signs at beaches
    when water samples exceed the state water quality
    standards for bacteria. The public is notified of a
    swimming advisory through press releases to local
    newspapers and notices on the Virginia Department
    of Health Web page (http://www.vdh.virginia.
    gov/whc/external_whc/BeachMonitoring.asp). In
    addition, two source-tracking techniques were used
    on Virginia's beaches during the 2004 swimming
    season. One method provided information on
    whether a human waste stream was present at the
    beaches; the other provided greater detail on the
    source of contamination by linking the bacteria to
    more specific sources such as pets, wildlife, human,
    or waterfowl sources.

  Washington
  Washington State has 3,066 miles of shoreline with
  over 2,000 miles in the west coast's largest estuary,
  Puget  Sound. Washington has a variety of beach
  destinations, including coastal treasures like Westport,
  Ocean Shores, the city of Edmonds with its nationally
  recognized scuba diving sanctuary, and the city of
  Seattle, which has approximately 30 miles of shoreline.

  The Washington  State Department of Ecology
  (Ecology) and Department of Health (Health)
  administer the Beach Monitoring Program in
  conjunction with county environmental health
  departments. The monitoring takes place on
  approximately 60 miles of beaches at the local level,
  while public notification occurs through actions taken
  at the  state and local levels. Washington has received
  $880,053 in BEACH Act grants.

  The BEACH Act grants have enabled Washington
  to develop and implement a statewide monitoring
  and notification program for bacteria at the state's
  most popular marine recreational beaches. Prior
  to Washington State's BEACH Program being
  implemented in 2003, only a handful of marine beaches
  were monitored with the intent to reduce the risk of
  disease to users of the state's waters. County health
  departments monitored beaches independently, if at
  all, and developed threshold levels independent of
  other counties. Because of EPA's BEACH Act grants,
  Washington now has a uniform statewide monitoring
  program and an interactive mapping Web site that
  notifies people of advisories and closings.

  Using CWA funding from the BEACH Act, Ecology
  and Health have developed the Washington State
  Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication
  and Health (BEACH) Program.  Washington's statewide
  BEACH Program monitors marine recreational
  beaches to reduce the risk of disease and provide
  a notification program warning recreational users
  when there is an increased risk. As lead agencies
  for the beach monitoring and notification program,
  Ecology and Health formed an Inter-agency Advisory
  Committee made up of county, city, and state officials,
  nonprofit groups, and local park managers to develop
  the program. The committee chose to implement the
  BEACH Program by using state agencies to coordinate
  and county environmental health departments  to
  voluntarily implement the monitoring plans. Public
  notification is conducted at both the county and state
  levels.

  • Monitoring. In 2003, thanks to EPA's grants,
    Washington State was able to implement the first
    statewide monitoring and notification program
    for marine recreational beaches in a pilot project
    phase. Washington began full implementation of
    the BEACH Program by evaluating and ranking
    roughly 1,000 marine beaches in the state. Seventy-
    two beaches were identified as priority beaches
    and were monitored for bacteria during the 2004
    summer swimming season. Washington State's
    BEACH Program will evaluate the results from 2003
    and 2004 for chronically polluted beaches. Shoreline
    surveys and further investigation and remediation
    will follow for the beaches identified as problem
    beaches.

    The results from the BEACH Program demonstrate
    that Washington has relatively clean water and
    safe beaches: 100 percent of the state's marine
    recreational beaches fall below EPA's recommended
    geometric mean of 35 enterococcus colonies  per 100

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Chapter 4: Evaluation of Federal, State, and Local Efforts to Implement the BEACH Act
                                              4-25
  mL. However, the BEACH Program has identified
  roughly 20 percent of the monitored beaches as
  having bacteria levels above expected background
  levels. With the population in the Puget Sound
  region expected to grow by 1.2 million people by
  2025, bacteria levels are expected to increase in
  Washington's recreational waters. Sample results
  were analyzed to see whether environmental factors
  like rainfall and sediment size could be correlated
  with an increase in bacteria levels. Further
  investigation is needed to determine whether
  the increased levels of bacteria are due to human
  impacts or natural causes and whether an increased
  risk of disease is present.

• Public notification/outreach. The BEACH Program
  also notifies the public when a sewer spill adjacent
  to a public beach has occurred. Prior to the BEACH
  Program, statewide notification did not exist. A new
  interactive, map-based Web site allows people to
  determine the condition of the beach they plan to
  visit before driving hours to get there only to find
  the beach unhealthy for use that day.

  Better public education is still needed to increase
  the awareness of the public as to the potential risks
  associated with swimming in polluted water. The
  BEACH Program developed a public education and
  outreach campaign for 2005.

Wisconsin
• Beach assessment and identification. The Wisconsin
  Department of Natural Resources collected  geo-
  locational data on 193 beaches, along with their
  proximity to wastewater outfalls on the shoreline
  of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This
  information was used to develop state and county
  maps and to determine actual beach miles along the
  Great Lakes shores.

• Public notification. The Wisconsin Beach Health
  Web site, which is accessible to the public, stores up-
  to-date monitoring data and advisory information
  (www.wibeaches.us). An e-mail notification  system
  allows beach users to sign up to be notified of the
  status of beaches of their choice. A toll-free phone
  line is also available for public use.
4.4  What have tribal governments
      done?
Section 518(e) of the CWA authorizes EPA to treat
eligible Indian tribes in the same manner as states
for the purpose of receiving CWA section 406 grant
funding. To be eligible for a CWA section 406
development grant, a tribe must have coastal recreation
waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access
that are used by the public. In addition, a tribe
must meet the requirements in CWA section 518 for
treatment in a manner similar to  a state for purposes
of receiving a CWA section 406 grant. At this time, no
eligible tribe has applied for a BEACH Act grant.

4.5  What have local governments
      done?
The BEACH Act authorizes EPA to make a grant to a
local government for implementation of a monitoring
and notification program only if, after the 1-year
period beginning on the date of publication of the
performance criteria (which was July 19, 2002), EPA
determines that the state within which the local
government has jurisdiction is not implementing
a program that meets the requirements of section
406(b) of the CWA, as amended by the BEACH Act.
On April 26, 2006, EPA made this determination for
Pennsylvania and transferred the state's grant to Erie
County.

4.6  References
USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
    2002a. National Beach Guidance and Required
   Performance Criteria for Grants. EPA 823-B-02-004.
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of
    Water, Washington, DC. June.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
    2002b. Assessing and Monitoring Floatable Debris.
    EPA 842-B-02-002. U.S. Environmental Protection
    Agency, Office of Water, Washington, DC. August.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2004.
   National List of Beaches. EPA 823-R-04-004. U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water,
    Washington, DC. March.

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4-26                                           Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Chapter 5
Improvements to Methodologies and
 Techniques for Monitoring Coastal
Recreation  Waters
EPA has also been working to improve the science and
integration of monitoring and modeling for pathogens
in coastal recreation waters. Chapter 3 describes
some of EPA's efforts in this area. This chapter
describes other EPA efforts to improve monitoring
and recommends improvements to methodologies and
techniques for monitoring coastal recreation waters.

5.1   What monitoring research  has
      EPA conducted?
EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD),
in coordination with the Office of Water, conducted
a study to identify the characteristics of a beach
environment that have a significant impact on
monitoring in coastal recreation waters. This project
examined five beach environments to determine
the factors that most influence the measurement of
beach water quality. Two ocean beaches, an estuarine
beach, a Great Lakes beach, and a riverine beach
were selected to provide as broad a representation of
beach environments as possible. The following sites
participated in this study (Figure 5.1):

  •  West Beach, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,
    Ogden Dunes, Indiana, a freshwater beach on the
    shores of Lake Michigan
  •  Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Michigan, a freshwater
    beach on the Detroit River between Lake St. Clair
    and Lake Erie

  •  Wollaston Beach, Quincy, Massachusetts, a marine
    beach in Quincy Bay
  •  Imperial Beach, Imperial Beach, California, a
    marine beach on the Pacific Ocean

  •  Miami Beach Park, Bowley's Quarters, Maryland,
    an estuarine beach on Chesapeake Bay near
    Middle River

EPA published the report titled Environmental
Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking
(EMPACT) Beaches Project in August 2005. EPA
will initiate a formal review process to evaluate the
study results. The Agency plans to use the results of
the study, along with other recent research studies,
to determine how its monitoring guidance for beach
monitoring programs might be improved.

There is, for example, a range of technical and policy
issues that EPA might review. These could include the
depth at which samples should be collected; the time
and location at which samples should be collected;
other considerations, such as sampling "hot spots," the
use of composite sampling, and combining sampling
with site-specific predictive modeling; and other
monitoring factors that states and localities should
consider.

5.2  What modeling work has been
      conducted?
EPA has been investigating means to improve
the monitoring of beach water quality and to
develop strategies, including modeling, for timely
notification of the public when bacterial contamination
poses a risk to bathers. A few models for predicting
bacteria concentrations on beaches have been
                                                                                      5-1

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5-2
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
                                                                                   mi Beach
                                                                                       Wollaston Beach
  Figure 5.1.  EMPACT study beaches
  developed in recent years. They include statistical
  models that rely on readily available parameters, such
  as rainfall, turbidity, wind direction, and wave height.

  The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has also
  conducted research related to beach water quality. For
  example, USGS has been refining monitoring methods,
  and conducting field sampling studies. USGS and EPA
  have been working to improve models to better predict
  water quality at beaches.

  USGS has developed empirical models for beaches
  in Ohio and Indiana. In Ohio, USGS researchers
  developed beach-specific models for five Lake Erie
  beaches (Francy and others, 2003). At Huntington
  Beach, Bay Village, Ohio, predictions based on the
  model are being presented to the public through an
  Internet-based "nowcasting" system in 2006 (see
  http://www.ohionowcast.info/); the models for the other
  beaches will be presented through the nowcasting
  system after they are validated. In 2005, USGS
  scientists studied beaches in Porter and Lake Counties
  in Indiana and developed a  mathematical model
  dubbed "Project SAFE" (Swim Advisory Forecast
  Estimate, see http://www.glsc.usgs.gov). In these types
  of models, sources are usually not defined explicitly
  because rainfall or other variables serve as surrogate
  source functions. Project SAFE and Nowcasting uses
  measurements such as rainfall, wave height, and lake
  turbidity to estimate £. coli counts and to determine
  when counts are high enough to threaten the health of
  swimmers. Because of the 24-hour time lag associated
  with the current technique of collecting water samples
  and culturing for E. coli, there are limitations for beach
  public notification decisions. Therefore, Project SAFE
  and Nowcasting seeks to decrease the waiting time for
  results by incorporating real-time information into its
  model prediction.

  USGS began using the Project SAFE models at
  beaches in Gary, Indiana, during the summer of 2005.
  According to the SAFE protocol, each morning USGS
  scientists downloaded data from weather- and water-
  monitoring  stations near or around the Burns Ditch
  outfall and beaches to the west. Scientists incorporated
  the data into the mathematical model, determined the
  likelihood of elevated bacteria levels, and distributed
  the result to beach managers in time for them to make
  an educated decision about keeping a beach open to

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Chapter 5: Improvements to Methodologies and Techniques for Monitoring Coastal Recreation Waters
                                                5-3
swimmers, issuing an advisory that E. coli counts were
likely elevated, or closing the beach. Similar procedures
are being followed as part of the Nowcasting system in
Ohio in 2006. USGS has proposed using this method
for other Great Lakes beaches as well.

Less developed, at least in the area of beach bacteria
predictive models, are comparatively complex
hydrodynamic approaches. Based on initial and
boundary conditions, these models are designed
to solve the equations of motion numerically, thus
predicting the fate and transport of pollutants.
Although  fundamentally physics-based, they also often
have important empirical components to bridge gaps in
knowledge or to simplify the mathematics. Such models
are currently used mostly for other purposes, such as
predicting the transport and fate of hydrocarbons after
an oil spill. Sources are usually modeled explicitly.

Nowhere in this spectrum of existing approaches are
there models that are readily applicable to new sites.
Empirical models apply to specific sites, and complex
numerical models generally require the services of
experts and consultants to implement them.

New software called "Virtual Beach" is intended
to overcome these limitations by supporting both
empirical and physical approaches in an integrated
application. In collaboration with USGS, EPA is
designing Virtual Beach to automate the statistical
analytical techniques developed by USGS. Upon
collecting and compiling similar ambient data, well-
motivated laypersons will be able to use Visual Beach
to derive predictive statistical models for their own
sites. A prototype is under development at the EPA
Ecosystems Research Division in Athens, Georgia. A
beta version of the Virtual Beach statistical model was
distributed to selected reviewers in June 2005. Parts of
the interface and statistical models were presented at
the A11PI conference on Oceans and Human Health in
Lansing, Michigan, April 19-20, 2005 (Ge 2005).

The goal is to develop a user-friendly application that
directly or indirectly includes point and nonpoint
sources of contamination, the latest bacterial decay
mechanisms, real-time and Web-based ambient and
atmospheric and aquatic input, and a predictive
capability of up to three days to help avert potential
beach closings. Upon successful completion of the first
phase, similar development approaches will be used to
start the second phase, the hydrodynamic modeling
approach. After both the statistical and hydrodynamic
approaches become available, end users will be able
to select the approach most compatible with their
resources and capabilities.

The suite of predictive capabilities for this
software application can enhance the utility of new
methodologies for analyzing indicator pathogens by
identifying times that represent the highest probability
of bacterial contamination. Successful use of this
model will provide a means to direct timely collection
of monitoring samples, strengthening the value of the
short turnaround time for sampling. In addition, in
some cases of known point sources of bacteria, such as
wastewater treatment plant discharges, the model can
be applied to  help guide operational controls to help
prevent resulting beach closings.

5.3   References
Francy, D.S., A.M. Gifford, R.A. Darner. 2003.
    Escherichia coli at Ohio bathing beaches: distribution,
    sources, wastewater indicators, and predictive modeling.
    Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4285.
    U.S. Geological  Survey, Reston, Virginia.

Ge, Z. 2005. The development of an empirical bacteria
    model for Visual Beach. Presented at the A11PI
    conference on Oceans and Human Health in
    Lansing, Michigan, April 19-20, 2005.

USEPA. 2005. The EMPACTBeaches Project: Results
    From a Study on Microbiological Monitoring in
    Recreational Waters. EPA 600/R-04/023, U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati,
    Ohio.

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5-4                                             Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Appendix A
BEACHAct
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the "Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000".
SEC. 2. ADOPTION OF COASTAL RECREATION WATER QUALITY CRITERIA AND
STANDARDS BY STATES.
Section 303 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33U.S.C. 1313) is amended by adding at the end the
following:
"(i) COASTAL RECREATION WATER QUALITY CRITERIA.—
"(1) ADOPTION BY STATES.—
"(A) INITIAL CRITERIA AND STANDARDS.—Not later than 42 months after the date of the enactment of this
sub-section, each State having coastal recreation waters shall adopt and submit to the Administrator water quality
criteria and standards for the coastal recreation waters of the State for those pathogens and pathogen indicators for
which the Administrator has published criteria under section 304(a).
"(B) NEW OR REVISED CRITERIA AND STANDARDS.—Not later than 36 months after the date of publication
by the Administrator of new or revised water quality criteria under section 304(a)(9), each State having coastal
recreation waters shall adopt and submit to the Administrator new or revised water quality standards for the coastal
recreation waters of the State for all pathogens and pathogen indicators to which the new or revised water quality
criteria are applicable.
"(2) FAILURE OF STATES TO ADOPT—
"(A) IN GENERAL.—If a State fails to adopt water quality criteria and standards in accordance with paragraph
(1)(A) that are as protective of human health as the criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators for coastal
recreation waters published by the Administrator, the Administrator shall promptly propose regulations for the
State setting forth revised or new water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators described in
paragraph (1)(A) for coastal recreation waters of the State.
"(B) EXCEPTION.—If the Administrator proposes regulations for a State described in subparagraph (A) under
subsection (c)(4)(B), the Administrator shall publish any revised or new standard under this subsection not later
than 42 months after the date of the enactment of this
subsection.
"(3) APPLICABILITY.—Except as expressly provided by this subsection, the requirements and procedures of
subsection (c) apply to this subsection, including the requirement in subsection (c)(2)(A) that the criteria protect
public health and welfare.".

SEC. 3. REVISIONS TO WATER QUALITY CRITERIA.
(a) STUDIES CONCERNING PATHOGEN INDICATORS IN COASTAL RECREATION WATERS.—Section
104 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1254) is amended by adding at the end the following:
"(v) STUDIES CONCERNING PATHOGEN INDICATORS IN COASTAL RECREATION WATERS.—Not
later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this subsection, after consultation and in cooperation with
appropriate Federal, State, tribal, and local  officials (including local health officials), the Administrator shall
initiate, and, not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this subsection, shall complete, in cooperation
                                                                                              A-l

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A-2                                                 Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  with the heads of other Federal agencies, studies to provide additional information for use in developing—
  "(1) an assessment of potential human health risks resulting from exposure to pathogens in coastal recreation
  waters, including nongastrointestinal effects;
  "(2) appropriate and effective indicators for improving detection in a timely manner in coastal recreation waters of
  the presence of pathogens that are harmful to human health;
  "(3) appropriate, accurate, expeditious, and cost-effective methods (including predictive models) for detecting in a
  timely manner in coastal recreation waters the presence of pathogens that are harmful to human health; and
  "(4) guidance for State application of the criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators to be published under
  section 304(a)(9) to account for the diversity of geographic and aquatic conditions.".
  (b) REVISED CRITERIA.—Section 304(a) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1314(a)) is
  amended by adding at the end the following:
  "(9) REVISED CRITERIA FOR COASTAL RECREATION WATERS.—
  "(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 5 years after the date of the enactment of this paragraph, after consultation
  and in cooperation with appropriate Federal, State, tribal, and local officials (including local health officials), the
  Administrator shall publish new or revised water quality
  criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators (including a revised list of testing methods, as appropriate), based
  on the results of the studies conducted under section 104(v), for the purpose of protecting human health in coastal
  recreation waters.
  "(B) REVIEWS.—Not later than the date that is 5 years after the date of publication of water quality criteria under
  this paragraph, and at least once every 5 years thereafter, the Administrator shall review and, as necessary, revise the
  water quality criteria.".

  SEC. 4. COASTAL RECREATION WATER QUALITY MONITORING AND NOTIFICATION.
  Title IV  of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1341 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the
  following:
  "SEC. 406. COASTAL RECREATION WATER QUALITY MONITORING AND NOTIFICATION.
  "(a) MONITORING AND NOTIFICATION.—
  "(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this section, after consultation and
  in cooperation with appropriate Federal, State, tribal, and local officials (including local health officials), and after
  providing public notice and an opportunity for comment, the Administrator shall publish performance criteria for—
  "(A) monitoring and assessment (including specifying available methods for monitoring) of coastal recreation waters
  adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that are used by the public for attainment of applicable water quality
  standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators; and
  "(B) the  prompt notification of the public, local governments, and the Administrator of any exceeding  of or
  likelihood of exceeding applicable water quality standards for coastal recreation waters described in
  subparagraph (A).
  "(2) LEVEL OF PROTECTION.—The performance criteria referred to in paragraph (1) shall provide that the
  activities described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of that paragraph shall be carried out as necessary for the
  protection of public health and safety.
  "(b) PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS.—
  "(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator may make grants to  States and local governments to develop and
  implement programs for monitoring and notification for coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar
  points of access that are used by the public.
  "(2) LIMITATIONS.—
  "(A) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator may award a grant to a State or a local government to implement a
  monitoring and notification program if—
  "(i) the program  is consistent with the performance criteria published by the Administrator under subsection (a);

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Appendix A: BEACH Act                                                                              A-3
"(ii) the State or local government prioritizes the use of grant funds for particular coastal recreation waters based on
the use of the water and the risk to human health presented by pathogens or pathogen indicators;
"(iii) the State or local government makes available to the Administrator the factors used to prioritize the use of
funds under clause (ii);
"(iv) the State or local government provides a list of discrete areas of coastal recreation waters that are subject to the
program for monitoring and notification for which the grant is provided that specifies any coastal recreation waters
for which fiscal constraints will prevent consistency with the performance criteria under subsection (a); and
"(v) the public is provided an opportunity to review the program through a process that provides for public notice
and an opportunity for comment.
"(B) GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.—The Administrator may make a grant to a local government
under this subsection for implementation of a monitoring and notification program only if, after the 1-year period
beginning on the date of publication of performance criteria under subsection (a)(l), the Administrator determines
that the State is not implementing a program that meets  the requirements of this subsection, regardless of whether
the State has received a grant under this subsection.
"(3) OTHER REQUIREMENTS.—
"(A) REPORT.—A State recipient of a grant under this subsection shall submit to the Administrator, in such format
and at such intervals as the Administrator determines to be appropriate, a report that describes—
"(i) data collected as part of the program for monitoring and notification as described in subsection (c); and
"(ii) actions taken to notify the public when water quality standards are exceeded.
"(B) DELEGATION.—A State recipient of a grant under this subsection shall identify each local government to
which the State has delegated or intends to delegate responsibility for implementing a monitoring and notification
program consistent with the performance criteria published under subsection (a) (including any coastal recreation
waters for which the authority to implement a monitoring and notification program would be subject to the
delegation).
"(4) FEDERAL SHARE.—
"(A) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator, through grants awarded under this section, may pay up to 100 percent of
the costs of developing and implementing a program for  monitoring and notification under this subsection.
"(B) NON-FEDERAL SHARE.—The non-Federal share of the costs of developing and implementing a monitoring
and notification program may be—
"(i) in an amount not to exceed 50 percent, as determined by the Administrator in consultation with State, tribal,
and local government representatives; and
"(ii) provided in cash or in kind.
"(c) CONTENT OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS.—
As a condition of receipt of a grant under subsection (b),  a State or local government program for monitoring and
notification under this section shall identify—
"(1) lists of coastal recreation waters in the State, including coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar
points of access that are used by the public;
"(2) in the case of a State program for monitoring and notification, the process by which the State may delegate to
local governments responsibility for implementing the monitoring and notification program;
"(3) the frequency and location of monitoring and assessment of coastal recreation waters based  on—
"(A) the periods of recreational use of the waters;
"(B) the nature and extent of use during certain periods;
"(C) the proximity of the waters to known point sources and nonpoint sources of pollution; and
"(D) any effect of storm events on the waters;
"(4)(A) the methods to be used for detecting levels of pathogens and pathogen indicators that are harmful to human
health; and
"(B) the assessment procedures for identifying short-term increases in pathogens and pathogen indicators that are

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A-4                                                   Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  harmful to human health in coastal recreation waters (including increases in relation to storm events);
  "(5) measures for prompt communication of the occurrence, nature, location, pollutants involved, and extent of any
  exceeding of, or likelihood of exceeding, applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators
  to—
  "(A) the Administrator, in such form as the Administrator determines to be appropriate; and
  "(B) a designated official of a local government having jurisdiction over land adjoining the coastal recreation waters
  for which the failure to meet applicable standards is identified;
  "(6) measures for the posting of signs at beaches or similar points of access, or functionally equivalent
  communication measures that are sufficient to give notice to the public that the coastal recreation waters are not
  meeting or are not expected to meet applicable water quality standards for pathogens and pathogen indicators; and
  "(7) measures that inform the public of the potential risks associated with water contact activities in the coastal
  recreation waters that do not meet applicable water quality standards.
  "(d) FEDERAL AGENCY PROGRAMS.—Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this section,
  each Federal agency that has jurisdiction over coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of
  access that are used by the public shall develop and implement, through a process that provides for public notice and
  an opportunity for comment, a monitoring and notification program for the coastal recreation waters that—
  "(1) protects the public health and safety;
  "(2) is consistent with the performance criteria published under subsection (a);
  "(3) includes a completed report on the information specified in subsection (b)(3)(A), to be submitted to the
  Administrator; and
  "(4) addresses the matters specified in subsection (c).
  "(e) DATABASE.—The Administrator shall establish, maintain, and make available to the public by electronic and
  other means a national coastal recreation water pollution occurrence database that provides—
  "(1) the data reported to the Administrator under sub-sections (b)(3)(A)(i) and (d)(3); and
  "(2) other information concerning pathogens and pathogen indicators in coastal recreation waters that—
  "(A) is made available to the Administrator by a State or local government,  from a coastal water quality monitoring
  program of the State or local government; and
  "(B) the Administrator determines should be included.
  "(f) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR MONITORING FLOATABLE MATERIAL.—
  The Administrator shall provide technical assistance to States and local governments for the development of
  assessment and monitoring procedures for floatable material to protect public health and safety in coastal recreation
  waters.
  "(g) LIST OF WATERS.—
  "(1) IN GENERAL.—Beginning not later than 18 months after the date of publication of performance criteria
  under subsection (a), based on  information made available to the Administrator, the Administrator shall identify,
  and maintain a list of, discrete coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches or similar points of access that are used
  by the public that—
  "(A) specifies any waters described in this paragraph that are subject to a monitoring and notification program
  consistent with the performance criteria established under subsection (a); and
  "(B) specifies any waters described in this paragraph for which there is no monitoring and notification program
  (including waters for which fiscal  constraints will prevent the State or the Administrator from performing
  monitoring and notification consistent with the performance criteria established under subsection (a)).
  "(2) AVAILABILITY.—The Administrator shall make the list described in paragraph (1) available to the public
  through—
  "(A) publication in the Federal Register; and
  "(B) electronic media.
  "(3) UPDATES.—The Administrator shall update the list described in paragraph (1) periodically as new

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Appendix A: BEACH Act                                                                            A-5
information becomes available.
"(h) EPA IMPLEMENTATION.—In the case of a State that has no program for monitoring and notification that is
consistent with the performance criteria published under subsection (a) after the last day of the 3-year period
beginning on the date on which the Administrator lists waters in the State under subsection
(g)(l)(B), the Administrator shall conduct a monitoring and notification program for the listed waters based on a
priority ranking established by the Administrator using funds appropriated for grants under subsection (i)—
"(1) to conduct monitoring and notification; and
"(2) for related salaries, expenses, and travel.
"(i) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There is authorized to be appropriated for making grants
under subsection (b), including implementation of monitoring and notification programs by the Administrator
under subsection (h), $30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2005".

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.
Section 502 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1362) is amended by adding at the end the
following:
"(21) COASTAL RECREATION WATERS.—
"(A) IN GENERAL.—The term 'coastal recreation waters' means—
"(i) the Great Lakes; and
"(ii) marine coastal waters (including coastal estuaries) that are designated under section 303(c) by a State for use for
swimming, bathing, surfing, or similar water contact activities.
"(B) EXCLUSIONS.—The term 'coastal recreation waters' does not include—
"(i) inland waters; or
"(ii) waters upstream of the mouth of a river or
stream having an unimpaired natural connection with the open sea.
"(22) FLOATABLE MATERIAL.—
"(A) IN GENERAL.—The term 'floatable material' means any foreign matter that may float or remain suspended
in the water column.
"(B) INCLUSIONS.—The term 'floatable material' includes—
"(i) plastic;
"(ii) aluminum cans;
"(iii) wood products;
"(iv) bottles;  and
"(v) paper products.
"(23) PATHOGEN INDICATOR.—The term 'pathogen indicator' means a substance that indicates the potential for
human infectious disease.".

SEC. 6. INDIAN TRIBES.
Section 518(e) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1377(e)) is amended by striking "and 404" and
inserting "404, and 406".

SEC. 7. REPORT.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 4 years thereafter,
the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall submit to Congress a report that includes—
(1) recommendations concerning the need for additional water quality criteria for pathogens and pathogen indicators
and other actions that should be taken to improve the quality of coastal recreation waters;
(2) an evaluation of Federal, State, and local efforts to implement this Act, including the amendments made by this
Act; and
(3) recommendations on improvements to methodologies and techniques for monitoring of coastal recreation waters.

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A-6                                                Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  (b) COORDINATION.—The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may coordinate the report
  under this section with other reporting requirements under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251
  et seq.).

  SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
  There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the provisions of this Act, including the amendments made by
  this Act, for which amounts are not otherwise specifically authorized to be appropriated, such sums as are necessary
  for each of fiscal years 2001 through 2005.

  Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  Vice President of the United States and
  President of the Senate.

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Appendix B
State  and  Territory Highlights
The following sections were written by each state or
territory to highlight the key accomplishments of beach
programs in coastal states and territories. EPA has
not verified and validated these data. These program
descriptions describe recent activities and might
include some actions not funded by BEACH Act funds.
Readers should note that the summaries for the Gulf
Coast area were written before hurricanes Katrina
and Rita. These devastating events, which occurred in
August and September 2005, will likely have a profound
effect on the beach programs administered by the
affected states in the short term. In the coming months,
EPA  and the states will work to reestablish program
activities so that the health and safety of beachgoers
remain protected.

Alabama
In June 1999, the Alabama Department of Environ-
mental Management (ADEM),  in cooperation with
the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH),
initiated a program to routinely monitor bacteria levels
at five public recreational beaches along the Gulf Coast.
The effort was later expanded to include six additional
sites  along the Gulf Coast and Mobile Bay. ADEM was
designated as the state's lead agency and was awarded
grant money by EPA through the BEACH Act to carry
out this program. Through the BEACH Act, ADEM
and ADPH expanded and enhanced monitoring and
notification efforts for Alabama's public recreational
waters. The goal of this program is to increase public
awareness and provide water quality information
to help the public make more informed decisions
concerning their recreational use of Alabama's natural
coastal waters.

Monitoring and Public Notification
The monitoring program now involves the routine
collection of water samples from 25 high-use and/or
potentially high-risk public recreational sites from
Perdido Bay to Dauphin Island. The selection of sites
and the frequency of sampling have been determined
using a risk-based evaluation and ranking process.
This process considers a number of factors for a given
site, the most important being the amount of use and
the amount of risk. Depending on the site rankings,
samples are collected twice a week, once a week, or
once every other week during the swimming season
(June through September) and once a month during
the cooler months (October through May). Samples
are analyzed for the indicator bacteria enterococci.
The indicator bacteria used and the threshold
concentration, which triggers an advisory, are based on
recommendations provided by EPA in the documents
Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria (1986)
and Water Quality Standards Handbook, second edition
(1983). All enterococci analysis is performed by ADPH
Laboratory using EPA Standard Method 1600. EPA
Method 1600 provides a direct count of bacteria in
the water based on the development of colonies on the
surface of the membrane filter. The ADPH and EPA
whole body water contact standard for enterococci is
104 col/100 mL (single sample maximum).

Trained ADEM and ADPH staff collect samples
from the sites, and the ADPH Mobile Laboratory
performs enterococcus analyses. ADPH reviews all
data and is responsible for issuing advisories. All
test results are posted on the ADEM Web site and
advisories are publicized through press releases and
posted on signs at each of the 25 sampling locations.
More than 3,000 samples have been collected since
the inception of the Beach Program, resulting in
52 advisories issued. During fiscal year 2004, over
800 samples were collected and analyzed, resulting
in 15 beach advisories. Currently ADPH is using
YSI Environmental Monitoring Systems, which are
                                                                                                B-l

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  multiparameter, water quality measurement and
  data collection systems used to collect in situ data.
  These data are also reported on the ADEM Web site.
  The in situ data collected includes dissolved oxygen,
  pH, specific conductivity, salinity, and temperature.
  Turbidity data are also collected using a field turbidity
  meter.

  American Samoa
  Overview of progress
  All 143 miles of beaches and lagoon waters surrounding
  American Samoa are used daily by residents and
  tourists both for swimming and for family subsistence
  fishing. Thus, protection of public health by reducing
  the risk of disease acquired from swimming and
  recreating in contaminated waters is a great concern
  for the local community. Prior to 2002, the existing
  methods for monitoring recreational waters in the
  territory did not adequately protect public health.
  Following the receipt of BEACH grant funds in FY
  2001, American Samoa EPA (ASEPA) successfully
  developed a beach monitoring and public notification
  program by the end of FY 2002.  Since that time,
  ASEPA has continued with full implementation and
  enhancement of this program.

  Background
  Prior to receiving BEACH Act grant funds in FY 2001,
  limited assessment was made of beaches (embayments
  and open coastal waters). Each week, ASEPA monitored
  only 12 beach sites spanning 30 beach miles. Although
  beach samples were analyzed for the detection and
  quantification of enterococci, no statistical reference
  work was performed, nor was any attempt made to
  utilize the information for public notification.

  FY 2002 Progress
  In FY 2002, ASEPA used grant funds to develop a
  program consistent with EPA's nine performance
  criteria for the implementation of monitoring,
  assessment and notification. The primary objective of
  the project was continued development of an enhanced
  coastal recreation water monitoring program for
  American Samoa. Samples were routinely collected and
  analyzed from 14 beach sites weekly (Tier 1), 7 beaches
  monthly (Tier 2), and 14 remote beaches quarterly (Tier
  3). Public advisories were issued in print, radio, and
  television media for all beach samples that exceeded the
  American Samoa Water Quality Standards.

  FY 2003 Progress
  In FY 2003, ASEPA continued with full
  implementation of the beach monitoring and
  notification program. ASEPA also submitted an annual
  performance report, financial report, and monitoring
  and notification report for each fiscal year. Two Tier
  3 beach sites were shifted to a more regular sampling
  frequency of Tier 1, increasing the number of beaches
  monitored weekly from 14 to 16 beaches. An additional
  beach site was added to Tier 3 for monitoring and
  public notification, bringing the total number of
  beaches sampled each quarter to 15. The total number
  of beach miles monitored and assessed for public
  notification at the end of FY 2003 was 83 miles.

  FY 2004 Progress
  Increased BEACH Act grant funding awarded in
  FY 2004 enabled ASEPA to continue with full
  implementation and to enhance its beach monitoring
  and notification program. Specifically, ASEPA
  increased the monitoring frequency for Tier 3 waters
  from quarterly to weekly monitoring; bringing the
  total number of beach sites sampled each week from 16
  to 31. In addition to increased monitoring, advisories
  of water quality exceedances at Tier 3 waters were
  issued weekly for public  notification. These data have
  enabled ASEPA to focus its nonpoint source efforts for
  improving water quality at beach sites. A fourth tier of
  21  new beach sites spanning 60 miles was evaluated and
  classified using a risk-based approach, increasing the
  total number of beach miles considered for monitoring
  and public notification to 143 miles.

  California
  California has one of the most extensive beach
  monitoring programs in the country. Monitoring is
  performed by county health agencies in 18 coastal
  counties by NPDES permittees that discharge to the
  coastal zone, environmental groups, and numerous
  citizen monitoring groups. The BEACH program
  is helping California turn these programs into a
  coordinated statewide program.

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                                B-3
Monitoring
BEACH Act grant funds have been used to augment
beach monitoring in California. The State Department
of Health Services (DHS) requires weekly monitoring
for three bacterial indicators (total coliform bacteria,
fecal coliform bacteria, and enterococcus) during the
summer dry-weather period (April 1 to October 31)
at all beaches having more than 50,000 visitors each
year and near storm drains.  Some local governments,
especially in southern California, monitor their beaches
year-round. Counties have used the BEACH Act grant
funds to increase the number of stations sampled at
beaches, increase the frequency of sampling, and,
where appropriate, extend sampling to year-round.

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Board)
has an ongoing Beach Water Quality Task Force
consisting of health officials, regulatory agencies,
discharge agencies, and environmental groups.
The task force developed a three-tiered monitoring
framework. Tier 1 beaches are high-use beaches
with potential sources of contamination. These are
monitored at least weekly; many are monitored daily or
five days a week. Tier 2 beaches have moderate usage.
These beaches may be monitored less than weekly or
not at all during the period from November 1 through
March 31 at the discretion of the local health officer.
Tier 3 beaches are low-use beaches with little or no
known source of contamination. The local health
officer and water quality agencies may have monitoring
conducted to determine whether these waters should be
classified as Tier 1 or 2. Otherwise, the Tier 3 beaches
are not monitored.

Quality assurance
The local health agencies collecting data have their
own individual Quality Assurance Plans. DHS used
the BEACH Act grant funds to develop a Quality
Assurance Management Plan for all beach monitoring
activities under the BEACH program. The plan
describes how the program will develop, implement,
and determine the effectiveness of its quality assurance
and quality control policies and procedures. Perhaps
unique to California, organizations participate in
inter-laboratory calibration studies to ensure that
results being generated by multiple laboratories are
comparable.
Public notification and outreach
The state regulations prescribe bacterial thresholds and
procedures for posting advisories and closing beaches.
California makes a clear distinction between advisories
and closings. Advisories provide the beachgoer with
information to make an informed decision. The
thresholds for posting an advisory in California are
lower than those in other states. In California, beach
advisories are mandated when any single sample
exceeds a threshold for any one of three indicators. In
addition, advisories are routinely posted for beaches 72
hours after a rainstorm. These differences need to be
taken into consideration when making state-by-state
comparisons.

Coastal counties are required by statute to report
monthly to the state the number of beach advisories
and closings. EPA BEACH Act grant funds have
been used to help develop and support electronic data
submittal. In Southern California, the county health
agencies have data systems in place that allow them
to transmit the water quality and advisory data to
the State Board's Beach Watch System. In Northern
California, counties are able to submit data to the
Beach Watch System through a Web-based interface.
The data from the Beach Watch System is used to
submit data to EPA.

The Beach Water Quality Work Group refined the
Heal-the-Bay Report Card system for consistent
statewide application. The beach report card provides
information on 430 beaches in California and is
updated weekly (www.healthebay.org/brc/statemap.
asp). The use of letter grades effectively communicates
complex water quality data in a way that most people
can understand and allows them to make informed
decisions about where they want to swim.

Other highlights
California is a leader in beach monitoring. The state
has invested $78 million in a Clean Beach Initiative
to clean up bacterial contamination throughout the
state. The state also has invested in the development
of techniques for rapid indicators to allow for quicker
notification and methods for source tracking to
accurately and rapidly identify causes of bacterial
impairments. There have been two epidemiological

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  studies in California (Santa Monica Bay, 1994, and
  Mission Bay, 2004) to evaluate the relationship
  between bacterial indicators and incidence of disease.
  The Mission Bay study is unique in that it provides
  information on the risks associated with nonpoint
  sources of bacteria that are not of human origin.

  Connecticut
  Monitoring and public notification
  The 67 regulated coastal bathing areas along the
  shoreline of Connecticut in contact with the Long
  Island Sound Estuary fall into two groups. Sixty-
  three of these beaches are sampled and monitored
  by 22 municipal local health departments, while the
  remaining 4 are state park beaches monitored by the
  Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
  (CTDEP). These 67 beaches are monitored and closed
  in accordance with the State of Connecticut's  Guidelines
  for Monitoring Bathing Water and Closure Protocol. From
  Memorial Day to Labor Day, the shoreline local health
  departments and CTDEP notify the public when they
  issue closings or advisories for these beaches.

  The Connecticut Department of Public Health
  (CTDPH) is currently building Web pages for the
  public beaches in Connecticut. The pages will be
  accessed through the department's home page, and
  will include beach lists; a tiered beach monitoring
  list; the State of Connecticut's Guidelines for Monitoring
  Bathing Water and Closure Protocol; links to Connecticut
  local health departments and CTDEP for beach
  closure information, the Centers for Disease Control
  and Prevention, and EPA; and references to state
  regulations governing public beaches.

  Beach mapping and data management
  CTDPH has traversed the entire length of each of the
  67 regulated coastal bathing areas along the shoreline
  adjoining the Long Island Sound Estuary. This
  survey yielded the latitude and longitude of the beach
  end points, the beach lengths, and the latitude and
  longitude of each of the 144 sampling sites at these
  beaches. The geographic data from this survey have
  been rendered through geographic information system
  (GIS) software to create one colored and scaled map
  for each of the regulated coastal bathing areas. These
  maps, along with notification and monitoring data, are
  contained in an integrated custom relational database
  reserved for office use. Notification and monitoring
  data can be displayed on beach maps to quickly
  visualize seasonal data sets for selected beaches.

  This custom database not only tracks notification and
  monitoring data but also is used to produce a yearly
  Beach Summary report and the annual Beach Survey
  that is completed by CTDEP and the local health
  departments. Sample results produced by CTDPH state
  laboratory for these beaches are reported seasonally
  to CTDPH where they are entered into and managed
  by custom relational database software. Monitoring
  and notification data collected with the annual Beach
  Survey is stored in the database and forwarded to EPA
  as part of a BEACH Act grant requirement.

  Laboratory services
  The CTDPH state laboratory is an active partner with
  CTDEP and the local health departments that elect to
  use the laboratory service for beach monitoring. During
  a typical bathing season, the state laboratory routinely
  processes more than 1,000 water samples collected at
  selected regulated coastal bathing areas. Samples that
  test positive for elevated levels of enterococcus trigger
  a telephone call directly to the submitting local health
  department or CTDEP as soon as the test results are
  learned.  Beach monitoring test results are mailed to the
  local health departments and to CTDEP.

  Training
  CTDPH administers the BEACH Act grant in
  Connecticut and provides two meetings annually at
  the beginning and end of the bathing season for local
  health departments, CTDEP, and other interested
  parties. These workshops review the  current status
  of the BEACH Act grant, laboratory methods  used to
  test for the indicator organism enterococcus, sample
  collection and handling protocol, the courier service
  provided by CTDPH to collect coastal water samples
  along the shoreline, and notification  and monitoring
  data collection during and after the bathing season.

  Press event
  EPA and CTDPH have participated in several press
  events announcing the award of the BEACH Act
  grant.  In 2004, the city of New London participated

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                                B-5
in the Connecticut BEACH Act grant announcement
at Ocean Beach. Following the announcement and
speaker comments, EPA demonstrated water collection
sampling and testing techniques in front of several
camera crews and a live audience of swimmers.

Delaware
Delaware's swimming beaches have been sampled
since 1979. As part of an ongoing commitment to
provide assurances for the state's residents and
visitors regarding swimming water quality, Delaware
implemented a revised,  formalized Recreational Water
Program in 1989. It is one of the most comprehensive
programs of its kind in the United States.
Approximately 50 miles of coastline,  from  Slaughter
Beach to the state line at Ocean City, Maryland, are
sampled for enterococcus bacteria levels, monitored
for rainfall, and observed for other factors  known to
impact water quality, including spills and potentially
toxic phytoplankton blooms. Delaware has a total of
25 miles of Atlantic Ocean coast, 50 miles  of Delaware
Bay Coast, and 115 miles of coastal bay (Inland Bays)
shoreline, including Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay,
and Little Assawoman Bay.

The  Delaware Department of Natural Resources and
Environmental Control developed the State of Delaware
Guidelines for Monitoring and Assessing the Human
Health Risk of Swimming Activities in Fresh and Marine
Recreational Waters. These guidelines were set forth to
protect people from incurring an unacceptable health
risk due to swimming (primary-contact  recreation) in
the natural waters of Delaware. These health risks may
include, but are not limited to, infections of the ears,
nose, eyes, of throat, or gastrointestinal distress.

The  principles in the guidelines were developed
using health effects relationships determined by the
EPA through 10 years of study in the United States
and other countries. The guidelines contain a list
of definitions, details on the statutory authority,
specifications and a discussion on health risks,
monitoring parameters, water quality standards,
laboratory analytical methodology, and a description of
their tiered monitoring  plan, site selection criteria, and
their public notification policy.
Swimming advisories are issued to recreational water
area administrators and are managed collaboratively
with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources
and Environmental Control. Continuous notification to
the public regarding the advisory status of swimming
areas is maintained via a toll-free number (1-800-922-
WAVE). Information is also available through the Web
site www.dnrec.state.de.us.

Florida
In 1998, five of Florida's coastal counties began
monitoring for enterococci bacteria under a grant-
funded pilot program. By the beginning of 2000,11
Florida counties were participating in the program,
which continued through July 2000.

In August 2000, the beach water sampling program was
extended to 34 of Florida's coastal counties through
state legislation (Senate Bill 1412 and House Bill
2145) and funding. This funding allowed for biweekly
sampling at just over 300 sites throughout the state. In
addition, testing under the new program included fecal
coliform as well as enterococci. The choice to use these
two indicator bacteria was made on the basis of adopted
water quality standards of the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection for fecal coliform, and
recommended standards of EPA for enterococcus. The
state delegated authority to county health departments
to conduct the sampling and issue health advisories
for areas that exceed these standards. The public is
notified through an online Web site, local media, and
signs posted at the access points to the swimming areas.

In August 2002, the beach water sampling program
began collecting water samples weekly with additional
funding from EPA. With the increased sampling
frequency, the use of enterococcus geometric means
became possible. Since then, advisories have been
issued if bacteria levels exceed either the single sample
standards for enterococcus  or fecal coliforms or the
geometric mean standard for enterococcus.

The Florida Healthy Beaches Web site (http://
esetappsdoh/irmOObeachwater/default.aspx) continues
to be a valuable asset in notifying the public. The
ability for the public to access the information on all
beaches in their area allows them to make informed

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  decisions without tying up county or state staff. Sample
  locations and risk classifications for beaches in the
  program are being reviewed to ensure they remain in
  step with development along the coast of Florida.

  Georgia
  The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia
  Department of Natural Resources uses the Web to meet
  both the monitoring and notification portions of the
  BEACH Act grant. Beach water quality monitoring
  data are easily accessible and transferable in the Web-
  based Coastal Water Quality Database. For public
  notification, Georgia has partnered with Earth911 to
  allow easy access to current beach status information.

  Water quality database
  CDR collects water quality data in the rivers, estuaries,
  and ocean waters, including beach sites, along the
  Georgia coast. These data had been stored in a
  single Water Quality Database housed within CRD.
  Upon implementation of the beach data reporting
  requirements, CRD found that the existing database
  was insufficient for storing and reporting the beach
  data required by EPA. CRD applied for, and received,
  an EPA National Environmental Information
  Exchange Network (NEIEN) grant to develop a method
  of transmitting the beach data into EPA WebSIM via
  the Georgia network node. CRD then contracted with
  Acclaim Systems to develop an Oracle database with a
  Web-based interface and data transport capabilities.

  Prior to the development of the Oracle database,
  laboratory data were reported to CRD electronically
  in an Excel  spreadsheet. CRD staff would then copy
  and paste the data into an Access database (a time-
  consuming  and error-prone method). With the new
  Beach Water Quality Database, the laboratory staff
  log in to the database using a Web browser, such as
  Internet Explorer, to access a data input form. Data
  in this form are held separately in the database until
  checked for quality assurance and quality control
  (QA/QC) by CRD. After approval, the data are stored in
  the main Oracle database, where they can be queried or
  exported into an XML format for transmission to EPA
  WebSIM. For bacterial data, the laboratory enters the
  bacteria count from each single sample.
  The Oracle application automatically calculates the
  rolling 30-day geometric mean. The application
  highlights the data fields in red when the single sample
  value or the geometric mean value exceeds the EPA
  recommended levels. When the EPA-recommended
  level has been exceeded, the application generates
  and sends an e-mail to the laboratory manager and
  to the CRD manager. A "what if calculator that
  automatically displays the  hypothetical value of the
  next sample needed to reach the EPA geometric mean
  threshold is programmed into the geometric mean
  application. This is useful  to beach managers for
  projecting what might happen with a beach in the near
  future. If the numbers show that a relatively low single
  sample value will push the geometric mean above the
  threshold, the beach manager can do a little advance
  planning and perhaps conduct a preventive sanitary
  survey. If a beach is already under a geometric mean-
  based advisory, the manager can project how much
  longer the beach might remain under advisory and
  perhaps increase public notification outreach efforts.

  Beach notification
  To ensure the widest outreach of public notification,
  CRD partners with Earth911 to reach the Web-using
  public. As soon as laboratory results are received, CRD
  staff log in to an Earth911  Web interface to update the
  status on  each Georgia beach. Changes in status are
  instantly  reflected on the public Earth911 Web site.
  After clicking the "Beach Water Quality" category,
  users see  a map of the United States. Clicking the
  "Georgia" portion  of the United States map zooms in
  to Georgia. Users can then select their beach area of
  interest to see information about it, and the date and
  time of the last update.

  An added benefit to Earth911 users is that they can
  subscribe to receive e-mail notifications regarding
  their beach of interest. When the status  of that beach is
  revised, a notification is triggered.

  Public outreach
  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  (GDNR) and the Georgia Division of Public Health
  (GDPH) are working together to implement a public
  outreach component of the Beach Monitoring
  Notification program. To give cohesion to the message

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                                B-7
coming from both agencies, they created an easily
identifiable graphic. Because Georgia is known as the
"Peach State," the "Peach on the Beach" was created.
This character is used in flyers, ads, and promotional
items. The "Peach on the Beach" literature is designed
to direct people to the GDNR Web site for additional
information. Once there, users can easily find a link to
the Earth911 Web site.

FAQ flyer
GDPH and GDNR developed a flyer with frequently
asked questions. The flyer, featuring the "Peach on
the Beach" character, is distributed to the public by
the local Health Department. The flyer also contains
contact information directing the public to the GDNR
Web site and to the local health department telephone
information line.

In addition, permanent metal folding signs were
installed at beach access points. The signs are the
primary way for visitors to  the beach to stay informed
of the current beach status. However, GDPH and
GDNR wanted to make the information available in
various formats, especially for people who want to see
the beach status before their beach trip.

Newspaper ads  and hotel information
sheets
When GDNR began testing for enterococcus bacteria
in early 2004, one local beach community began to
have short-term advisories  occur at one or more of
their beaches seemingly on a weekly basis. When
GDPH issued a press release issuing a beach swimming
advisory, within days another press release was issued
lifting the advisory.  Eventually, GDNR and GDPH
began running a weekly ad in the local newspaper. The
ad, entitled "Your Weekly Beach Report," featured
the "Peach on the Beach" and listed which beaches in
that county were currently under advisory. The ad also
pointed readers to the GDNR Web site for the most
current beach advisory information. The newspaper ad
ran weekly throughout the swimming season.

In addition to the newspaper ad, the local health
department worked with the local visitors bureau to
create a customized information sheet for hotels to
display or distribute to their guests. The date-stamped
flyer is faxed weekly to a distribution list maintained
and updated by the visitor's bureau.

Promotional items
GDNR holds an annual coastal environment festival,
Coastfest, every year in October. The one-day event
is very popular, drawing more than 7,000 visitors
last year. GDPH set up a booth at Coastfest with
information about the Beach Water Quality Monitoring
and Notification Program. At the booth, beach buckets
imprinted with the "Peach on the Beach" and Web
directions were given to the children. Coloring sheets
were handed out as well. Pencils imprinted with the
Web address were given out to adults. The promotional
items remind people to check the Web site before going
to the beach.

Guam
Tourists, fishermen, and the public use the beaches
of Guam heavily every day. Increased development
over the years continues to threaten beach water
quality. Improper or failing sewage delivery systems,
septic tanks, urban runoff, non-permitted upland
clearing, and reverse osmosis discharges are the largest
contributors to surface water pollution.

Monitoring
The microbiological and chemical  parameters that
the Guam EPA currently monitors include: pH, total
suspended solids, total dissolved solids, temperature,
turbidity, nitrite-nitrogen, nitrate-nitrogen, dissolved
oxygen, salinity, total phosphorous, ortho-phosphorous,
and enterococci bacteria. Guam EPA conducts
weekly monitoring at 38 fixed stations along its most
frequently used coastal beaches (Tier 1 beaches) for
enterococci bacteria.

Beaches classified as Tier 1 are beaches that are highly
frequented have a high number of possible pollution
sources, are easily accessible, and require frequent
monitoring.  Tier 2 beaches are less frequented with
restricted accessibility, have few pollution sources, and
require less frequent monitoring. Tier 3 beaches are
classified as  very infrequently visited, remote, or very
inaccessible, and are not monitored routinely. Of the
73 beaches, 39  were further classified as Tier 1 beaches
and the remaining 34 were classified as Tier 3.

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B-8
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Public notification and outreach
  When samples exceed the single sample or geometric
  mean enterococci bacteria (cfu/lOOmL) an advisory
  is released to notify the public that the beach is
  closed or warn against swimming. These bacteria
  criteria were updated in FY 2004 in the water quality
  regulations. Guam uses the local media (newspapers
  and TV) and their Web site (http://www.guamepa.
  govguam.net/programs/emas/beach.html#REPORT)
  to provide real time results to the public. The Web site
  posts the weekly results and historical summaries to
  communicate potential risks to the public. Further, all
  reports are accompanied with a press release making
  them available to the public.

  Hawaii
  Hawaii's BEACH Act grant, which is managed by the
  Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH), assists the
  state in its efforts to monitor a portion of more than 400
  beaches, scattered along 297 miles of its coastline, and
  notify the public when monitoring reveals exceedances
  of water quality criteria for bacteria. HDOH already
  had established and maintained a monitoring program
  for their coastal waters prior to initiation of the BEACH
  grant program. HDOH's further development of the
  established beach monitoring program, in response to
  requirements of EPA's BEACH Act grant, began with
  identification of all beaches scattered throughout the
  four major islands of Hawaii (Oahu, Maui, Hawaii,
  and Kauai). These beaches were identified by name
  and associated with longitude and latitude coordinates.
  HDOH then developed and implemented a risk-based
  evaluation and classification plan for their list of
  coastal marine waters and prioritized their monitoring
  schedule using this information.

  HDOH categorized the list of beaches into tiers on
  the basis of potential risk of illness to swimmers
  and frequency of use. Monitoring frequency is done
  according to tier level. Tier 1 beaches are composed
  of coastal recreational waters with a high frequency of
  primary contact recreation use, including waters with a
  potential for contamination by pollution. Presently, 50
  Tier 1 beaches are monitored twice a week throughout
  the year. Tier 2 beaches are used less frequently and,
  therefore, are monitored once a week on a rotating
  schedule for six months at a time. Thirty-four Tier
  2 beaches are being monitored once a week for a six-
  month period. Tier 3 beaches are designated by very
  low visitation and are monitored as needed. HDOH
  compiled data about beach locations and sources
  of potential contamination into a GIS map, which
  identifies beaches by name, latitude and longitude
  coordinates, and indicates the locations and types of
  potential sources of microbial contamination.

  All beaches are resampled when water quality standards
  for bacteria are exceeded. In 2003, HDOH refined its
  decision rule for resampling and posting advisories on
  beaches where adjacent coastal waters exceeded water
  quality criteria for bacteria. By 2004, Hawaii's practice
  of posting advisories was well established and extended
  to add advisories for possible contamination from storm
  water after rain events. In addition to posting advisories
  at beaches, HDOH also alerts the public of high bacte-
  rial indicator counts or sewage spills through announce-
  ments on radio stations and in newspapers. HDOH is
  in the final stages of developing its own Web site for
  reporting data to the public. They have established a
  practice of sharing monitoring data with a local chapter
  of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental organi-
  zation. Surfrider displays HDOH's monitoring data on
  its own Web site. HDOH also sends monitoring data to
  EPA quarterly and reports a summary of notifications to
  EPA annually.

  HDOH keeps the public informed of the beach
  program by attending meetings of community
  environmental organizations, hosting public
  presentations of grant awards, and encouraging
  comments about the monitoring and notification
  program from the public, local agencies, recreational
  clubs, and environmental organizations.

  Illinois
  Monitoring
  Illinois' Lake Michigan beaches are monitored five to
  seven times a week during the swimming season. They
  are among the most frequently monitored beaches in the
  country. To augment beach water quality monitoring
  conducted at coastal beaches, the Illinois Department of
  Public Health (IDPH) continues to validate and imple-
  ment working models to predict E. coli levels in Lake
  Michigan because health warnings are generally issued

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                               B-9
on the basis of E. coli concentrations from samples
taken the previous day. Predictive models created using
continuously measured hydro-meteorological variables
provide a good alternative to monitoring because they
can predict, with a good degree of accuracy, when
bacteria levels will be high. For example, in the summer
of 2004, predictive modeling equipment was installed by
the Lake County Health Department to predict E. coli
levels at two Lake Michigan beaches: Illinois Beach
State Park-South Beach in Zion, Illinois, and Forest
Park Beach in Lake Forest, Illinois. The models, which
measure a number of variables, such as wind speed and
direction, sunlight, rainfall, air and water temperature,
humidity, wave height, dissolved solids, clarity, and
acidity, accurately predicted whether E. coli concentra-
tions were above or below the 235 cfu/100 mL threshold
for full body contact 85 percent and 86 percent of the
time, respectively, during the 2004 swimming season.

Public notification and outreach
All of the Lake Michigan beaches in Illinois use
standard postings at the beach indicating that
swimming is prohibited when E. coli levels are
above 235 cfu/100 mL. IDPH continues to develop
and distribute educational resources to the public
on the potential risks associated with swimming in
contaminated water. "Don't Feed the Waterfowl"
signs have been posted at Lake Michigan beaches
to discourage visitors from feeding birds, which has
the potential to contribute significant fecal loads to
beach water, leading to beach closings. To obtain
beach closure information, the public can visit IDPH's
bathing beaches Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/
envhealth/beachhome.htm or the Chicago Park
District's Swim Report at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/
index.cfm/fuseaction/swim_report.home.cfm.
Information on keeping the beaches clean is avail-
able at www.lakemichigan.org. The Lake County
Health Department, Wilmette Park District,
Winnetka beaches, and the City of Evanston post
their beach closure information at the EARTH911
beach notification Web site at www.earth911.org/
WaterQuality/default.asp?cluster=17.

Indiana
Under the BEACH Act, Indiana has used grant dollars
to develop the Lake Michigan Beaches Program.
Indiana's 45 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline is on the
northern edge of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties.
Funding has helped to increase the frequency of E. coli
monitoring at Indiana's Lake Michigan beaches.

Before the development of the Lake Michigan Beaches
Program, Indiana's coastal beaches were monitored one
or two days a week. The funding has allowed partner
communities to increase the frequency of sampling and
analysis of water samples for E. coli to five to seven days
a week. IDEM has also used a portion  of the resources
to keep the public informed. Beach managers, the
park department, or both now notify the public by
posting beach advisory and beach water closure signs.
In the spring of 2005, IDEM will have fixed signage or
kiosks installed at several coastal beaches for the 2005
beach season. The kiosks will provide beachgoers with
current information about the status of beach waters
and additional information about the possible sources
and causes of E. coli contamination. Recommendations
will also be provided as to how beachgoers and
watercraft owners and operators can reduce the
likelihood of causing an E. coli release.

In 2002, IDEM began developing the Beach
Monitoring and Notification Plan (BMNP) as required
by EPA for Indiana's portion of the Lake Michigan
shoreline. This work was completed in 2003, and the
plan has met the performance criteria established by
the BEACH Act.

The summer of 2004 was the first beach season in
which IDEM was able to provide funds to coastal
communities to increase the frequency of monitoring.
The funding provided multiple resources to local
communities, which were able to upgrade equipment,
purchase supplies, and pay for additional summer staff
to collect and analyze samples.

As part of Indiana's efforts to fulfill the requirement
of the BEACH Act performance criteria, four pilot
projects were funded and implemented during the 2004
beach season:

  1.  Indiana University: Developing a prototypical
     model of E. co/t-induced closings at Indiana's Lake
     Michigan beaches in close proximity to the outfall
     of Dunes Creek into Lake Michigan

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B-10
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
    2. Gary Sanitary District: Characterizing the.E. coli
      distribution of beaches down-current from Burns
      Ditch, which flows into Lake Michigan

    3. LaPorte County Health Department: Working
      with state and local stakeholders to enhance public
      notification of Lake Michigan beach closings in
      LaPorte County

    4. Indiana University: Assessing and evaluating
      communication about Lake Michigan beach
      closings and health information provided to Lake
      and Porter County stakeholders

  In addition, IDEM has funded 3 pilot projects for the
  2005 beach season:

    1. Environment, Law, and Economics Institute
      (ELEI): Protecting the health of our coastal
      communities through education by developing
      and distributing an educational brochure on
      "beach health"

    2. Gary Sanitary District: Developing a 'SwimCast'
      predictive model system for Buffington Harbor
      Beach in the City of Gary, Indiana

    3. Gary Sanitary District: Validating and
      operationally testing predictive model for E. coli
      concentrations on swimming beaches of Ogden
      Dunes,  Wells Street, Marquette, and Lake Street

  Time-relevant water quality data for Indiana's beaches
  are posted on the Earth911 Web site. The site also
  includes pollution information, project information,
  and links to other water quality sites. During 2004, a
  partnership between IDEM and Earth911 facilitated the
  development of the submittal, reporting, and notifi-
  cation system for Indiana's  Lake Michigan Beaches
  Program. The information  posted on the Earth911  Web
  site allows partner communities, beachgoers, and other
  interested parties to access the current status of the
  beaches that  have been monitored for E. coli.

  Louisiana
  (Note: This information was updated after Hurricanes
    Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005)
  Risk-based beach classification system
  Since initial Beach Act grants were awarded in
  2001, the Louisiana Beach Monitoring Program
  has been developed and successfully implemented
  under the guidance of the Center for Environmental
  Health Services within the Office of Public Health
  (OPH). Before the implementation of the Louisiana
  Beach Monitoring Program, OPH and its contractor
  completed a systematic process to identify and rank
  Louisiana's beaches according to risk. The analysis
  process consisted of four major steps:
    1.  Identifying and defining coastal recreation waters

    2.  Identifying beaches or similar points of access
       used by the public for  swimming, bathing, surfing,
       or similar water contact activities
    3.  Reviewing available information on levels of
       potential fecal contamination at beaches and their
       intensity of use

    4.  Ranking beaches to decide which beaches would
       be included in Louisiana's BEACH program

  The results of this evaluation are presented in
  Louisiana's BEACH Act grant Report, Grant Year 2001
  and are available online at www.ophbeachmonitoring.
  com.  They reflect a model approach for identifying and
  prioritizing beaches in a state for monitoring under the
  BEACH program.

  OPH initiated the process by defining coastal
  recreation waters within the state. Waterbodies
  designated as "estuarine" or designated for oyster
  propagation in the state's surface water quality
  standards and water quality assessments, waters
  adjacent to estuarine waters containing at least one
  sample station with a mean salinity of 3 parts per
  trillion (ppt), and waters lying between an isolated
  estuarine waterbody and the estuarine water's
  connection to the Gulf of Mexico were identified as
  coastal recreation waters.

  Next, coastal recreation waters were examined to
  determine whether beaches or similar points of access
  used by the public for swimming, bathing, surfing, or
  similar water contact activities were present. Parish
  sheriffs offices were contacted to identify the areas

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                               B-ll
meeting OPH's definition of a beach in each parish
where coastal recreation waters occur. Using the
resulting list of beaches, OPH delineated each beach
on digital aerial photography in a GIS and began the
process of evaluating exposure risk at each beach
using two factors: the relative densities of pathogen
indicators in beach waters and the number of people
using each beach.

OPH used fecal coliform data collected under the
state's Molluscan Shellfish Program to identify areas
where the state's fecal coliform criteria were being
exceeded. They also evaluated general information
gleaned from the state's existing fish consumption
and swimming advisories, water quality inventory,
and impaired waters list. To obtain estimates of beach
use, OPH surveyed local parish officials. The officials
provided estimates of the number of beach visitors on
a typical weekday, weekend, and holiday during the
peak swimming season, along with the percentage
of beach users entering the water. Estimates were
then generalized into broad categories for relative
comparison.

Using fecal coliform levels and levels of beach use,
a qualitative ranking scheme was devised and used
to assign each beach to a monitoring tier. Because
water quality was good for the majority of beaches
considered, the level of beach use was the primary
criterion used to assign beaches to monitoring tiers.
Beaches classified as having very high, high, or
moderate to high use were assigned to Tier 1 and
received the most monitoring attention.  Beaches
classified as having moderate use were assigned to Tier
2. Beaches with low or very low use and  a water quality
ranking based on fecal coliform data that were not
collected in close proximity to the beach were assigned
to Tier 3 and  targeted for additional bacterial indicator
monitoring to better characterize risk. Beaches on
private land or with existing swimming  advisories
posted by the state and with very low public use were
excluded from further consideration.

Prior to the landfall of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
in 2005, OPH was implementing its beach monitoring
program at high-priority beaches consistent with
its beach classification scheme. OPH had developed
a high-quality public notification program that
efficiently used beach signs, the department's Web
site, press releases, and direct contact of partner
agencies and local officials to communicate to the
public when beach advisories were warranted by the
monitoring data collected at these beaches. Due to
extensive damage to the state's beaches and associated
infrastructure by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, LDHH
expects to reevaluate the state's existing list of beaches
to determine whether adjustments to the list and
associated monitoring schedule are necessary.

Maine
Background
Although beach monitoring was not a priority in  Maine
in the past, there is growing interest in monitoring
ocean beaches to protect public health.  Although
relatively few people swim in the cold water in the
eastern part of the state, the sandy beach areas in the
mid-coast and southern regions experience a high
volume of visitors and intense recreational usage
during the 3-month beach season.

With EPA funding through the BEACH Act grants,
Maine's Healthy Coastal Beaches Program was
established in 2002 as part of the larger statewide
Healthy Beaches Program. Prior to then, the state
monitored a few state parks monthly and the Maine
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
focused on ensuring that licensed discharges did  not
threaten swimmers' health. Monitoring and public
notification for public beaches was (and still is)
primarily under the jurisdiction of the  municipalities,
and private beaches are responsible for  monitoring
their own beaches (although most do not). With three
towns recruited in 2004, 37 beaches in  18 towns are
currently monitored weekly, Memorial  Day through
Labor Day, as part of the Program.

The Program is a community-based, voluntary
program with no current legislation and none
proposed. Although this approach has its challenges,
the communities have accept it, and they are supportive
of the assessment and remediation of pollution
sources that impair water quality at coastal beaches.
The Program is advised by an Advisory Committee
composed of representatives from the University of
Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant; Maine

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B-12
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Coastal Program/Maine State Planning Office; Maine
  Departments of Environmental Protection, Marine
  Resources, Human Services, and Conservation and
  Bureau of Health; Casco Bay Estuary Project; Wells
  National Estuarine Research Reserve; Mount Desert
  Island Water Quality Coalition; Northern New
  England Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, local
  municipalities, and water districts. The Advisory
  Committee has developed and implemented a pilot
  program including:

    1. Surveys of towns and beach users

    2. Outreach and education to community groups,
      municipal officials, data managers and citizens

    3. Development and implementation of standards
      and protocols for swimming beach monitoring

    4. Notification of the public of water quality
      conditions at public beaches

  Assessment
  The program created and updated a risk assessment
  matrix to classify beaches into tiers as required by
  the BEACH Act. Using results of the assessment
  and monitoring, recent additional investigations and
  sanitary surveys have been conducted to identify
  sources of pathogens at Lincolnville Beach and the
  neighboring Frohock Brook; Goosefare Brook in Saco,
  where a study of coastal currents was conducted; and
  Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport.

  Training and public notification
  In 2004, program staff trained all town and state park
  beach personnel, and personnel from three regional
  labs. Microbac  Laboratories provided analysis to 12
  towns and state parks, including the scheduling and
  transportation  for the samples. The lab worked closely
  with several towns when water quality exceedances
  occurred. The program received a fair amount of
  media attention this past year, including television,
  newspapers, radio, and newsletters. Advisory signs
  were placed at all participating beaches in 2004.

  Database management and Web site
  The program has been working steadily on improving
  the online database. It functioned very well in 2004 as
  an in-house tool; the latest functions include automatic
  e-mail alert to managers when a water quality value is
  in exceedance, geometric mean, and simple graphing
  capability. The public interface to the data portion of
  the program's Web site (developed by the program's
  database consultant, Relyon Media) is at http://www.
  mainecoastdata.org/public/ and went live in March 2005.

  GIS maps have been developed for all beaches and
  have been verified for accuracy. Beach monitoring and
  notification data for 2003 and 2004 were submitted to
  EPA in 2005.

  In addition to protecting public health, beach
  monitoring data collected by the program have been
  used by scientists investigating harbor seal mortality,
  by a student preparing a master's thesis, and by
  journalists for articles for the local press.

  Education, outreach,  and public involvement
  The program developed a 2-year marketing plan, using
  professional marketing expertise to develop educational
  and outreach materials such as print materials
  (brochure, posters, community resource guide, and
  advisory signs), a Web site  (www.mainehealthybeaches.
  org), radio commercials and public service
  announcements, and television weather sponsorship.
  The state conducted a direct user survey to determine
  the extent of the outreach for the Maine Healthy Beach
  campaign. The goal of this effort was to inform visitors
  to Maine beaches of the monitoring program, the risks
  of waterborne illness, and the measures being taken
  to ensure a safe experience in the form of written and
  visual materials.

  Community examples of partnerships
  The Health Coastal Beaches Program has created
  successful partnerships in  Maine. This was evident in
  2004 in Mount Desert Island and southern Maine after
  the Natural Resources Defense Council annual Testing
  the Waters Report singled out the two communities
  in Maine (out of four nationally) as "Beach Bums."
  Although the report and ensuing articles  may have
  accelerated the process of recruiting one of the "Bums,"
  much time was spent redirecting the attitudes created
  by the bad press. In the other "bum" community, the
  report had the opposite effect, though monitoring has
  continued. Maine believed that its Healthy Coastal

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                             B-13
Beaches Program was still in the developing and
recruiting phase and that this was simply a detour for
the work that needed to be done in soliciting towns'
participation. It was a test of the community-based
process, reaffirming the importance of community
support in protecting public health.

The community partnerships are exemplified by
the Mount Desert Island Water Quality Coalition
(MDIWQC), which monitors, with the high  school,
water quality at Seal Harbor Beach, a popular
swimming spot. The MDIWQC confirmed that at
times swimmers were at risk at Seal Harbor Beach,
given the enterococci counts. In fact, two outbreaks
of swimming illness were reported to the MDIWQC
during the pilot project. The town of Mount Desert
Island has been proactive in posting swimming
advisories, has  closed the beach on two occasions, set
up its own laboratory, and continues to work closely
with the MDIWQC to solve the pollution problem
at Seal  Harbor  Beach. In addition, a group of Seal
Harbor residents raised funds to conduct a shoreline
and watershed  survey to track down potential pollution
sources, which will be conducted in 2005. The
combined data of the town and the MDIWQC have
helped to develop a more complete picture of when and
where pollution events are occurring. Healthy Coastal
Beaches Program staff has provided the training and
resources necessary to implement the monitoring,
data entry, and notification for Mount Desert Island
beaches.

Maryland
The Maryland  Department of the Environment (MDE)
adopted revised beach regulations for all of Maryland's
beaches. Key points include:

  • Adoption  of E. coli and enterococci as the only
    bacteriological indicators for beach monitoring
    and public notification purposes
  • Tiered monitoring design, prioritizing beaches
    based on risk

  • All beaches, permitted or not, receive the same
    protection (in the past, only permitted beaches
    required monitoring)
  • New amendments reflecting EPA's comments
    and concerns to the beach regulations (adopted
    by Maryland in July 2004) are in the final
    promulgation stages

Sixteen of the 23 counties in Maryland have recognized
beaches and monitoring programs. Seven counties
claim to have no beaches. Each year, memorandums of
understanding (MOUs) with Maryland Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) have provided
the Laboratories Administration with the personnel,
equipment, and  materials to evaluate the increase in
samples.

Working closely with St. Mary's County, and providing
grant money to them, has helped a poorly managed
beach program that was nearly defunct to become the
most improved county program in Maryland. Increased
monitoring has exposed potential  fecal contamination
sources. The county has developed its own Web site to
convey each beach's status. Thorough sanitary surveys
and increased monitoring have resulted in a better-
protected public.

MOUs with several other counties have provided a
much needed benefit to the beach  monitoring and
public notification efforts of those counties. Along
with St. Mary's County, Kent, Cecil, and Anne
Arundel Counties have used grant money to upgrade
their programs.  Many projects revolve around source
identification. Anne Arundel County is working on
developing  a predictive model. (See below for Sandy
Point project description).

The number of samples taken by the counties has more
than tripled in the past two years due to the following
factors:

  • Replicate sampling is required for quality
    assurance purposes

  • The number of beaches monitored has increased
    by more than 50 percent

  • The frequency of monitoring has increased from
    most beaches being monitored monthly to the
    higher priority beaches now being monitored
    weekly or biweekly

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B-14
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Data submission to EPA and the methods for data
  transfer are still evolving. MDE and sister agencies
  in other states are working closely with EPA in data
  sharing. MDE was one of the first states to transmit the
  2003 beach monitoring data. This was mainly due to
  MDE's use of STORET, which greatly simplified the
  process. As more efficient means of data sharing have
  become possible, EPA's STORET group has provided
  the technical assistance to the Beach Program. Beach
  advisory data (a.k.a. "Notification Data") sharing has
  been more challenging due to the requirement to use
  EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) node.  In the near
  future,  MDE hopes to use its node to transfer all of the
  required data to EPA.

  "Digital Health Department"
  MDE chose to acquire a Web-based product that
  can manage all aspects of the beach program. MDE
  contracted with Garrison Enterprises, Inc. to develop a
  customized version of the Digital Health Department
  application for Maryland's Beach program.  This Web-
  based product allows them to:

    •  Record data collected in the field directly into an
      online database

    •  Receive results directly from the lab as the lab
      personnel enter data and test results directly  into
      the online database

    •  Analyze and track data, including water sample
      results, illness data, or any search or report of data
      as needed

    •  Notify the public and all interested parties
      automatically via e-mail, phone center, blast fax,
      and Web site

    •  Export data to EPA in compliance with BEACH
      Act grant performance criteria

  Field samplers will use laptop or tablet PC instead of
  a paper form when collecting samples. Scheduling of
  field sampling and preparing labels for bottles will be
  done online using the application. In the field, all  the
  information and data that the sampler wishes to collect
  (time, station, salinity, temp, etc.) will be entered
  directly into the device, real time via a wireless Web
  connection. The labs will enter the bacterial indicator
  sample result directly into the database. Transcription
  errors will be eliminated or minimized, creating higher
  quality data. Results will be available to the local health
  department immediately, without having to fax, mail,
  or phone, allowing more timely public notifications
  if necessary. All the local health departments who
  monitor beaches will have access to this data via the
  Web. They will be able to download data, run queries
  and reports, among other things. This application
  also comes with a state beach Web site and a variety
  of methods for notifying the public of water quality
  results and exceedences (fax, e-mail, phone, Web page).
  MDE planned to fully implement the system prior to
  the 2005 beach season.

  North Beach-Calvert County, Maryland
  North Beach is a high use beach on the Chesapeake
  Bay in northern Calvert County Maryland. The Town
  of North Beach invested millions of dollars in creating
  a boardwalk, building a fishing pier, and attracting
  businesses and vendors. The boardwalk and pier is a
  centerpiece in the town's plan to attract more visitors
  and help the town's economy by increasing tourism
  dollars. Overlooked in the town's planning were the
  possible effects of a storm water outfall, which is in the
  center of the swimming area. The town assumed that
  any runoff would be rainfall alone and impacts would
  be minimal.

  With Beach Act grant money, MDE implemented a
  tiered sampling design, and required more frequent
  monitoring by the local health departments of the
  state's higher use beaches. During the summer of 2003,
  the increased monitoring at North Beach revealed
  poor water quality results during the bathing season,
  resulting, ultimately, in beach advisories. A thorough
  sanitary review of the area and discussions between
  MDE, the Calvert County Health Department, and the
  North Beach town engineer revealed the likely source
  of high fecal counts to be the storm water outfall. The
  town engineer provided blueprints that showed that
  the stormwater system shared a common conduit with
  the aging, terra cotta sanitary sewer system. During
  periods of drought, a minimal flow still was evident
  from the stormwater outfall.

  A sampling plan was developed to identify the area(s)
  of the sewer system that may be damaged and to

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-15
follow up with camera inspections of the pipes. One
week later, Hurricane Isabel disrupted those plans,
damaging much of the boardwalk, pier, and the
stormwater outfall. However, one very positive result
of the storm occurred. The town, when rebuilding
the pier and boardwalk area, decided to extend the
stormwater outfall past the end of the pier and outside
of the bathing area. The 2004 beach season sampling,
during a similarly rainy summer as 2003, revealed
significantly better water quality in the beach area with
no advisories or closings required. The town still plans
to investigate and repair, if necessary, the suspect sewer
system. Without the BEACH Act and Beach Act grant
funding, the more proactive monitoring and public
notification effort by the State may not have occurred,
thus, perhaps not revealing a potential public health
risk to  the bathers at North Beach.

Sandy Point State  Park Project
A major problem in  determining whether a swim area
is safe for human contact is the lag time between water
sampling and receipt of water quality monitoring
results. Under current practices, decisions concerning
swim advisories and beach closings are made using
results that are between one and four days old, depend-
ing on  communication with the labs. Consequently,
bathers may be exposed to fecal-contaminated water
and may be at increased risk of contracting gastroen-
teritis and other swimming related illnesses.

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health,
in partnership with the Maryland Department of
Natural Resources and MDE, are using Beach Grant
funds to assess water quality conditions at Sandy
Point State Park and to more appropriately determine
beach advisories using real time water quality data.
Daily fecal indicator sampling, along with real time
measurements of wind speed, wind direction,  rainfall,
temperature, solar radiation, as well as nutrient and
other water quality parameters are being collected
during this project. Two shallow-water monitoring
sites and a weather station are strategically placed at
public swim areas within Sandy Point State Park. Over
1 million visitors bathe, recreate or attend special event
activities each year at Sandy Point State Park.  At the
completion of the project, decisions concerning beach
advisories and management of swim and recreational
areas will be enhanced so that a bather's exposure
to fecal contaminated water and risk of contracting
gastroenteritis and other swimming related illnesses is
reduced.

Real time and near real time data from Sandy Point
can be seen at the following Web site: http://mddnr.
chesapeakebay.net/newmontech/contmoneotb_results_
graphs.cfm?station=SandyPointSouth.

A proposal to develop a regression or predictive model
under a future grant application will be made to
closely correlate physical, nutrient, and meteorological
data with bacterial concentrations in bathing and
recreational waters. The outcome of this project will
help to further MDE's efforts in better protection of
the public who bathe in natural areas by giving more
timely notifications of possible increased risk due to
fecal contamination impacts.

Ongoing and near-future efforts
•  Statewide public outreach and information
   campaign to better educate the public regarding
   beaches, water quality, risk, etc. Beach Web site,
   brochures are planned. This may include enhancing
   our notification methods with Earth911.org
   cooperation—Spring and Summer 2005.

•  Continue to select and fund local programs and
   projects.

•  Develop predictive model for Sandy Point State
   Park.

•  Continue urging counties to perform post rain-event
   sampling to allow for more protective preemptive
   advisories where appropriate.

•  Continue to upgrade and improve data management
   techniques, quality, sharing, etc. between state and
   county agencies and EPA.

•  Explore the use of NOAA radar rainfall data
   for predicting water quality and for developing
   preemptive advisory protocols.

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B-16
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Massachusetts
  Public notification and outreach
  In 2001, the Massachusetts Department of Public
  Health (MDPH) initiated the development of a system
  that would enable the public to see which beaches
  were open or closed on specific day or week, to see
  the reason behind any closure, and to keep track of a
  beach's water quality history. A working electronic,
  Web-based system for public notification of marine
  beach postings and water quality monitoring data
  went online in 2003. It was developed by MDPH in
  conjunction with Garrison Enterprises. The Web site
  was developed with funding support from the EPA
  BEACH Act grant and can be reached from the home
  page of the MDPH Web site (www.mass.gov/dph) or
  directly at www.mass.gov/dph/beha/tox/reports/beach/
  beaches.htm.

  The Web site supports reporting routine water quality
  monitoring data through a series of password-protected
  data entry pages. The Web-based system allows MDPH
  contract laboratories to enter sampling test results
  directly to the site. These laboratories are required
  under contract to enter field sampling data and
  laboratory results into the MDPH public notification
  Web site as results become available. Data entered on
  the site provide as near real time public notification
  as possible, after which the Web site automatically
  generates postings for those samples that exceed  single-
  sample or geometric mean regulatory limits. Display of
  postings on the public pages occurs twice a day, at 9:30
  AM and 12:30 PM. Additional enhancements allow for
  local health officials to view postings shortly before
  public notification to give them an opportunity to post
  advisories at beaches and prepare for public inquiries.

  Beach mapping
  A detailed GIS layer for Massachusetts^ marine
  bathing beaches was developed by MDPH with
  assistance from Applied Geographies, Inc. (AGI),
  and with  considerable information from local health
  officials. AGI prepared detailed color aerial photomaps
  for all 60  coastal communities with marine bathing
  beach polygons highlighted. AGI also calculated the
  miles of sandy coastline (approximately 727 miles) in
  Massachusetts. State health officials worked with local
  health officials to identify the locations and specific
  boundaries of each known beach, the designation
  of each beach—public or semi-public (and private,
  if known), the location or locations where the water
  samples are taken for routine monitoring, the location
  at each beach where posting (i.e., posting/closure due
  to bathing water quality violation) would occur if it is
  necessary, and the locations of normal access points
  and parking lots. MDPH staff validated all information
  by site visits to all marine beaches. The completed
  Massachusetts marine bathing beach GIS point layers
  were added to the state Web site (www.mass.gov/mgis/).
  These layers represent the linear extent of each beach
  and points marking their boundaries and access,
  sampling, and other locations. The beach layers display
  information for 510 marine bathing beaches, including
  419 public beaches and 91 semi-public beaches, as well
  as the estimated mileage of public (153.1 miles), semi-
  public (50.7 miles), and private beaches (522.4 miles) in
  Massachusetts.

  Monitoring
  MDPH has been successful at monitoring every
  marine and semi-public beach in Massachusetts weekly
  during the past three beach seasons. This includes
  578 sampling locations at more than 500 beaches. The
  bathing beach season in Massachusetts usually runs
  from as early as Memorial Day, in some areas, through
  Labor Day.

  The Public Health-Based Beach Evaluation,
  Classification, and Tiered Monitoring Plan has
  been developed to ultimately direct water quality
  monitoring resources to the beaches that pose the
  greatest health concern. The plan is intended to
  facilitate the identification and cleanup of pollution
  problems, while those beaches with more pristine
  records can be monitored less often than the required
  weekly routine monitoring through a variance process
  pursuant to both the Massachusetts and federal beach
  acts. In this system, every beach was classified into
  three "tiers." Tier 1 includes heavily used beaches
  that have pollution problems. EPA believes that these
  beaches should be tested at least twice a week. Because
  of the ongoing pollution concerns and violations, these
  beaches are generally sampled more than once a week.
  Tier 2 includes beaches with some pollution. These
  beaches must be tested once a week. Tier 3 includes

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                             B-17
beaches with no known pollution problems. These
beaches are required to be tested once every 2 weeks or
sometimes less, as determined by MDPH through the
variance process.

Training and  sanitary surveys
MDPH has held numerous training sessions for local
health officials during the life of the BEACH Act grant.
Topics  discussed have included health concerns related
to polluted bathing water, sampling methodology and
use of standardized field sampling forms, current
federal and state regulations, MDPH's new public
notification Web site, and an overview of MDPH's
global positioning system (GPS) survey of marine
beaches in Massachusetts. MDPH training sessions
have also presented information on identifying actual
or potential sources of contamination and use of the
MDPH standardized sanitary survey form. Additional
technical guidance has been provided in subsequent
mailings to local health officials.

MDPH developed a sanitary survey form for beaches.
The development of this form allows communities
to apply for sampling variances according to
Massachusetts regulations (105 CMR 445.100) and
will help MDPH comply with EPA BEACH Act grant
requirements for a tiered monitoring approach to
sampling. In addition, MDPH conducted three sanitary
survey  training sessions for local health officials to
further these goals.

Laboratory programs and quality assurance
MDPH used the federal beach funds to provide
partial  contract laboratory support for routine water
quality compliance and monitoring for marine beaches
required under federal and Massachusetts regulations
to local communities that qualified. These laboratories
have analyzed more than  12,000 samples from 48
marine beach communities that took part in the
contract laboratory program. The laboratories will be
audited in 2005 to ensure compliance with the quality
assurance project plan (QAPP) and standard operating
procedures.

The QAPP for routine monitoring activities and
related beach project implementation was submitted
to, and approved, by  EPA. The QAPP describes
quality assurance, quality control, and related
activities, including enforcement aspects that are in
place to ensure that the results of the project meet
EPA's published performance criteria. The state
finalized a Quality Management Plan (QMP) for all
activities under the EPA BEACH Act grant and other
activities specific to bathing beach regulations. The
QMP is a required document that describes how the
program will develop, implement, and determine the
effectiveness of its quality assurance and quality control
policies and procedures.

Database management
The Data Submission Plan for Routine Monitoring
under the BEACH Act grant and other activities
specific to bathing beach regulations was developed,
submitted to, and approved by EPA. The Plan is a
required document that describes Massachusetts' plan
for submitting the beach data it  collects from coastal
municipalities to EPA. Massachusetts submitted all its
monitoring and notification data for 2003 and 2004 to
EPA in 2004.

Michigan
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's
(MDEQ) beach monitoring program is summarized
below, and more details can be found at www.deq.state.
mi.us/documents/deq-wb-beach-2003annualreport.pdf.

MDEQ's beach monitoring program is a part of the
surface water quality monitoring program summarized
in the January 1997 report titled A Strategic
Environmental Quality Monitoring Program for Michigan's
Surface Waters. The objectives of the beach monitoring
component of the Strategy are listed below:

  1.  Assist local health departments to implement and
     strengthen beach monitoring programs

  2.  Determine whether waters  of the state are safe for
     total body contact recreation

  3.  Create and maintain a statewide database

  4.  Compile data to determine  overall water quality

  5.  Evaluate the effectiveness of MDEQ programs
     in attaining water quality standards (WQS) for
     pathogen indicators

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B-18
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  The following examples from the report contain
  detailed information about the beach monitoring
  program, as well as water quality data for 2003.

  Beach monitoring
  The monitoring of beaches in Michigan is voluntary
  and is conducted by the local health departments.
  Health departments are required to comply with
  Michigan's water quality standards according to R
  333.12544 of the Public Health Code, 1978 PA  368,
  which states,

  Funding for beach monitoring
  Prior to 2000, health departments relied on local
  funding to conduct beach monitoring programs.
  Local funding is often not sufficient to execute a
  comprehensive monitoring program. MDEQ now
  provides Clean Michigan Initiative-Clean Water
  Fund (CMI-CWF) and BEACH Act grants to local
  health departments to aid in the implementation or
  enhancement of their beach monitoring programs.

  MDEQ awards CMI-CWF and BEACH Act grant
  monies to local units of government and nonprofit
  entities. Eligible entities include county, city, township,
  and village agencies; watershed and environmental
  action councils; universities; regional planning
  agencies; and incorporated nonprofit organizations.
  The majority of grants are awarded to local health
  departments. If a group other than a local health
  department is awarded a grant, MDEQ requires the
  group to work closely with the local health department.
  The CMI-CWF and BEACH Act grants are designed
  to fund proposals that determine and report levels of
  E. coli in the swimming areas of public beaches. In
  selecting recipients for grant awards, MDEQ considers
  the following:

    •  Location and frequency of beach use
    •  History of beach monitoring and bacterial
      contamination

    •  Ability to communicate results to the public
      efficiently

    •  Ability to respond and take appropriate action in
      the event of beach contamination
  In 1998, only 20 counties monitored their beaches.
  Since MDEQ began providing grants for beach
  monitoring, the number of counties with a beach
  monitoring program has risen steadily. Twenty-four
  counties monitored at least one of their beaches
  in 2000, 36 counties monitored in 2001, and 38
  counties monitored in 2003 and 2004. Although no
  grant funding was available in 2002, monitoring was
  conducted in 26 counties.

  Minnesota
  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
  operates Minnesota's Beach Monitoring Program.
  The program addresses fecal contamination of Lake
  Superior's recreational waters by implementing
  a comprehensive beach monitoring and public
  notification plan for beaches adjacent to Lake Superior.

  Collaboration  of beach program with
  external parties to identify source problems
  MPCA is  working to identify beach pollution sources
  so that measures can be taken to reduce beach water
  pollution. For example, the City of Duluth and the
  Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (the District)
  have conducted die testing in the sewer lines and
  stormwater pump tanks and have been able to eliminate
  them as potential sources of bacteria at the New Duluth
  Boat Club site. The District has also been pursuing
  DNA fingerprinting to try to determine whether the
  source of the bacteria is animal or human waste.

  MPCA is  also working toward eliminating sewer
  overflows. In many areas of Duluth, the sanitary sewers
  that carry sewage also receive rainwater or groundwater
  that does  not normally require treatment. Much of this
  "clear" water enters the sewers from roof drains and
  from footing drains that remove groundwater from
  around houses. The connection of these sources to the
  sanitary sewers over the years has led to overloading
  of the  sewers during wet weather. As a result, the
  sewers sometimes overflow during rainy weather, and
  untreated sewage flows  into Lake Superior. Because of
  the heavy precipitation in the summer of 2003, there
  were over 40 overflows from 10 different locations. EPA
  has been working with MPCA,  the City of Duluth, and
  the District to resolve the problem. Each organization
  submitted a Plan of Action describing its proposed

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-19
actions to eliminate the overflows. Among other things,
these plans propose preventing excessive amounts of
rainwater and groundwater from entering the sewers,
by such means as construction of storage basins to
hold some of the water during wet weather until it can
be sent to the wastewater treatment plant for proper
treatments.

Monitoring
All the beaches along Lake Superior within state
jurisdiction are monitored for E. coli regularly during
the swimming season. If a beach has unsafe levels
of bacteria, it is posted with a "Water Contact Not
Recommended" sign until the bacteria levels decrease.
The Beach Monitoring Program's goal is to ensure
a safe and healthy aquatic recreational environment
by informing the public about the risk of contracting
waterborne diseases from exposure to contaminated
waters. It will work toward  this goal during 2005 by:

  •  Collecting samples from 39 Lake Superior beaches

  •  Analyzing those samples for waterborne diseases
     and human health risks

  •  Working with researchers to try to determine
     the source of contamination at beaches with
     continuous advisories

  •  Actively promoting safe water- and beach-related
     recreation

  •  Encouraging the beachgoing public to become
     more active stewards of the state's precious water
     resources

The 2004 monitoring season brought windier and
rainier days than 2003's pilot  monitoring season and
precipitated more advisories along Minnesota's North
Shore. During 2004, 38 beaches were monitored
for E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria; 26 advisories
were posted at 17 of the sites. Of the 17 beaches with
advisories, 5 were repeats from the 2003 monitoring
season.

Public notification and outreach
MPCA developed beach advisory and closure signs
that show when risk is present to swimmers. The signs
contain a "no-swim" icon, information about causes
of water contamination, advice on what the public can
do to help reduce beach water pollution, and contact
information. MPCA also developed an informational
brochure and beach health fact sheets for distribution
to the public. It has also partnered with local mass
media outlets to communicate beach health risk
information to the public through newspapers, radio,
and television. MPCA Beach Monitoring Program staff
developed a user-friendly Web page that offers specific
beach information and has an easy-to-remember
URL—MNBeaches.org. The Minnesota program
also has a local phone number (218-725-7724) with a
beach advisory voice message and access to advisory
information via the MPCA 800 number (1-800-657-
3864).

Mississippi
(Note: This information was not updated after Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005)

Monitoring
Mississippi's Department of Environmental Quality
(MDEQ) implemented an intensive beach water
quality monitoring and public notification program
in 1998 through its inter-agency Beach Monitoring
Task Force. From 1998 through 2004 water samples
were collected from twenty-one beaches and tested
for fecal coliform and enterococci along with several
chemical parameters. If bacteria levels reached unsafe
levels, advisories were placed on the beach stating that
swimming was not recommended until bacterial levels
returned to safe levels. The advisories remained in
place until the monitoring data indicated that the water
was safe for swimming and water contact.

Under the BEACH Act, the Mississippi Beach
Monitoring Program was expanded in 2005 to
include 22 beaches, and the frequency of sampling
was increased for seven beaches. Sixteen of the 22
beaches were classified as Tier 1 Beaches and they are
monitored 10 times per month during the recreational
season, which is from May through October. The six
Tier II beaches are monitored four times per month.
All beaches are monitored four times per month during
the non-recreational season.

Water samples from the beaches are tested for
enterococci bacteria, and if the bacteria levels exceed

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B-20
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  EPA recommended levels, a no swimming advisory
  sign is posted on the beach section. Additional water
  samples are tested from the site, and the no-swim
  advisory remains posted at the site until bacteria levels
  return to safe levels. In addition to signage, MDEQ
  provides public notification of beach water quality
  conditions through press releases and by posting near
  real time information on the state's Beach Monitoring
  Web site

  Public Notification
  During 2000, MDEQ developed a Beach Monitoring
  Web page to provide public notification of the water
  quality at the Mississippi beaches and to provide
  historical beach monitoring bacteria data. The public
  can view the Web site at http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/
  msbeach/indes. This Web site provides near real time
  data from all the monitoring locations, current beach
  advisories, beach locations, pictures, and maps locating
  the sampling sites. Also, information is provided about
  the history of beach advisories for all beach locations.
  Data from Mississippi's Beach Monitoring Program
  is routinely uploaded to EPA's Beach Monitoring
  STORET database. EPA uploads these data to the EPA
  National STORET database.

  New Hampshire
  Monitoring
  The New Hampshire Department of Environmental
  Services (NHDES) manages New Hampshire's Beach
  Program. The Beach Program monitors and inspects 16
  coastal public beaches weekly or twice a month based on
  their status. Currently, 11 beaches are monitored weekly
  and 5 beaches are monitored twice a month. In addition,
  potential pollution sources are monitored regularly
  during the swim season to identify potential public
  health threats. Monitoring and assessment reports are
  available on the program's Web site at www.des.state.
  nh.us/beaches/beach_reports/index.html.

  Assessment
  The assessment of all beaches and designation of
  tiers were completed in 2003. On the basis of these
  assessments, NHDES performed microbial source
  tracking studies to better identify the host source
  species  that contribute to elevated bacteria observations
  in coastal streams that discharge to or near three
  coastal beaches. The sites included Little River, North
  Hampton, which discharges to State Beach; Chapel
  Brook, Rye, which discharges to Bass Beach; and
  Parson's Creek, Rye, which discharges to Pirate's Cove
  Beach. The study found that wildlife and humans were
  the most prevalent source species identified at each
  site. Wild animals present included coyote, deer, fox,
  otter, raccoon, and sparrow. At two sites, the state has
  plans for remediation of human fecal contamination,
  including repair of failed septic systems. At another
  site, they will study restoring a salt marsh by removing
  tidal restrictions.

  Public notification
  On the beach program Web site at www.des.state.
  nh.us/beaches/index.html, NHDES has provided the
  public with information about coastal beach water
  quality status. NHDES has also published a brochure
  informing the public about the program. In addition,
  NHDES has produced signage for the public when
  advisories are posted.

  Data management
  NHDES developed a beach database to allow for ease
  of data transfer between the state and federal levels.
  NHDES's Environmental Monitoring Database
  houses the department's environmental data. All New
  Hampshire beach stations, activities, and sampling
  results can be found in the database. The database
  also houses a beach-specific module for the program
  that went live in December 2003. Beach-specific
  information, such as beach contacts, inspections, and
  beach advisory data are accessible through this module.

  The objective of the module is to enhance current
  beach data and make the data reportable to EPA via
  XML. Data are reported to EPA via uploads to the
  National STORET database for the water quality
  database and via XML to the PRAWN database
  for beach advisory and contact information. New
  Hampshire met the BEACH Act grant requirements
  on March 12,2004, and was the second state in the
  nation to submit notification data via XML. To date,
  both coastal and freshwater beach data dating back to
  1985 have been uploaded into the national version of
  STORET.

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-21
New Jersey
Beginning in May 2004, the New Jersey Department
of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP)
Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program required that
the sanitary quality of its marine bathing beach waters
be determined using EPA Method 1600 enterococcus
test (September 2002 version.) In this test,  all bacterial
colonies with a blue halo, regardless of colony size, are
counted as enterococcus. The method states that there
is a 6 percent false-positive rate and a 6.5 percent  false-
negative rate.

New Jersey coastal county and local health
departments sample 325 ocean and bay bathing beach
locations weekly and test the samples for enterococcus
organisms. The concentration of enterococcus may
not exceed 104 per 100 mL. Exceeding this value
requires immediate resampling of the beach water and
a sanitary survey of the sampled area.  Two consecutive
violations result in  closure of the beach to primary
contact recreational activities. Daily monitoring is
continued until an acceptable enterococcus value and
sanitary survey  result is obtained, and the beach is then
reopened.

In June 2004, enterococcus concentrations in samples
from several ocean  and bay bathing beaches were
unusually high (>1000 per 100 mL), often in the
absence of high  concentrations at adjacent  or nearby
beaches and, in  at least  one case, in the absence of
fecal coliform and E. coli bacteria. These results were
unusual and unexpected because there are no known
sources of bacteria to those beaches, and years of past
fecal coliform data have been well within the standard
for bathing beaches.

NJDEP's Water Monitoring and Standards marine
water laboratory began  work to isolate and identify
the bacteria. Ten colonies isolated from one of these
high-concentration sample petri plates were subjected
to enterococcus  confirmatory testing as specified in
the method. None of these colonies were Enterococcus
spp. All colonies on this plate appeared near the end of
the 24 h incubation period, were less than 0.5 mm in
diameter, and created lighter-blue halos than colonies
that confirm as Enterococcus spp.
Nine similar colonies (< 0.5 mm diameter, excluding
halo) were randomly selected from high-concentration
sample plates from four bathing beach sites from two
counties and subjected to identification procedures
("API 20 Strep" test, bioMerieux, Inc., Durham, NC).
Six colonies were identified as Aerococcus vindans and
three could not be classified.

Aerococcus vindans and a few other non-enterococcus
lactic acid bacteria are known to possess the enzyme
that causes the blue color halo in the enterococcus test
and interference by A. viridans has been observed by
researchers in commercial enterococcus detection  tests
that rely on the presence of this enzyme.

Aerococcus viridans was first  described in 1953. It is a
well-known pathogen of lobsters and other crustaceans
and is an occasional opportunistic pathogen in
humans and animals. A. viridans has been observed
in many non-fecal environments and is "by no means
common in [human] faeces" (Williams et al. 1953.
J. Gen. Microbiol. 8: 475). Thus, the presence of A.
viridans in marine water appears to have little sanitary
significance.

In early July 2004, the NJDEP requested guidance from
EPA regarding the counting of small-diameter colonies.
The NJDEP received written guidance from EPA
recommending that colonies less than 0.5 mm diameter
no longer be counted as enterococcus, further stating
their intention to revise Method 1600 to this effect by
the end of 2005. The NJDEP immediately instituted
the revised counting procedure resulting in a reduction
of some sample counts and the need for closures
at several beach locations. (Note: occasional high-
concentration "true" enterococcus samples continue to
be observed at some beach sampling locations, typically
associated with wet-weather conditions.)

For more detailed information on New Jersey's
Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program, visit the
NJDEP beach Web site: www.njbeaches.org.

North Carolina
North Carolina's recreational water quality  monitoring
program began as a state-funded mandate in 1997.
The program tests both ocean and estuarine waters in
deference to North Carolina's barrier island system,

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  which offers recreational areas on both the ocean and
  sound sides. North Carolina boasts 320 miles of ocean
  shoreline and another approximately 4,000 miles of
  estuarine shore. The program had previously tested
  between 275 and 300 sites ioiE. coli and fecal coliform
  bacteria and posted swimming advisories on the basis
  of a running monthly average or geometric mean.

  The changes to beach water quality monitoring
  dictated by the BEACH Act guidance led North
  Carolina Recreational Water Quality (RWQ) staff
  to expect a higher number of swimming advisories
  for the 2003 season. The new single-sample advisory
  requirement would increase the number of advisories
  because previously, the single-count "spikes" were
  moderated in the geometric mean calculation. However,
  it was questionable whether the number of beach days
  sites were under advisory would also increase. This is
  a more accurate indicator of overall water quality, and
  if people did not clearly understand this difference, a
  potential public perception problem could develop. The
  state sought to address the issue before it occurred.

  RWQ staff developed an extensive outreach and
  education plan, targeted to different audiences both
  internal and external to state government. Their
  audiences included state agency employees; state-level
  legislative representatives from coastal counties; local
  government officials and boards of health;  interest
  groups, including tourism, environmental, pier,
  and camp owners; and local business interests near
  sampling sites. They created brochures and fact sheets
  and the beginnings of a Web-based data system that
  would allow the public to access water quality data
  for their chosen beaches. The public can access beach
  water quality  data that is updated weekly, as well as
  information about the program and downloadable
  brochures on  the program's Web site, www.deh.enr.
  state.nc.us/shellfish/Water_Monitoring/RWQweb/
  home.htm. They also entered into a partnership with
  a national environmental nonprofit to display their
  swimming advisories on the nonprofit's Web site while
  they developed their own capacity. Most importantly,
  they instigated a series of face-to-face talks and
  meetings—their most valuable outreach tool.

  The personal  contact facet of the plan  was critical,
  especially for  introducing the state and local
  government officials. The Recreational Water Quality
  Program is not housed within the state Division of
  Water Quality, which, to the public, might seem a
  logical place for it. Because the program is focused on
  public health protection, it falls under the auspices of
  the state's Division of Environmental Health, along
  with the Shellfish Sanitation Program.

  State and local government employees receive high
  volumes of notices, e-mails, and other information,
  so the likelihood of their closely reading the material
  received from an unknown agency representative,
  much less retaining any of it, was slim. With personal
  contact, however, a face is  connected to a name and
  a program. Although people might not retain all the
  information they receive at a meeting, they have a
  contact and back-up material with memories attached
  to them.

  With the goal of reaching  as many concerned parties as
  they could, the program staff also performed a snowball
  sample for the first round  of a total of 49 meetings,
  ending the discussion by asking those present who else
  they thought they should contact. This yielded other
  groups and individuals, which were also approached.

  Another key component of the outreach program
  involved eliciting the concerns of officials and citizens
  about aspects  of the program, and feedback about how
  those concerns might be addressed. One of the most
  common issues raised by officials was the media's
  handling of swimming advisories, especially in light of
  the likely increase. Early in the program,  reporters had
  mistakenly stated that an entire county's beaches were
  "closed." The state program does not have the statutory
  authority to close beaches; they issue swimming
  advisories that recommend against swimming in a
  specific area within 200 feet in any direction of a
  sampling site. This caused considerable concern about
  misperceptions regarding  an area's waters and possible
  loss of tourism revenues.

  As a result, the program offered a modified version
  of its educational program to key environmental
  media representatives. Again, the most important
  component of the program involved personal contact,
  and this was augmented by presentations  and the other
  informational materials. Several prominent reporters

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-23
were given tours of the program and supplied with data
and background, resulting in three positive front page
stories in major newspapers in Raleigh, Charlotte, and
Wilmington. Throughout the season, media coverage
was consistently strong and accurate, and no  "closings"
were reported. This approach gave the program
increased credibility and showed that state and local
governments can work together, which has led to
increased cooperation.

Outreach efforts continue on a smaller scale—refresher
talks are offered for local government and health
officials and citizen groups, as well as orientation for
newly elected or appointed members. The program
checks in with interested parties before the new  season
begins to determine whether they are the notification
contact for the coming season and whether they  would
like anyone else added to the notification list for their
areas. The program has received substantial positive
feedback for its responsiveness and hopes to continue to
improve outreach in the coming seasons.

Northern  Mariana Islands
The beaches and lagoon waters of the Commonwealth
of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are heavily used
daily by tourists, fishermen, and the public. Increased
development over the years continues to threaten beach
water quality. Improper or failing sewage delivery
systems, septic tanks, urban runoff, non-permitted
upland clearing, and reverse osmosis discharges  are the
largest contributors to waterbody pollution.

Monitoring
The microbiological and chemical parameters that
the CNMI Division of Environmental Surveillance
Laboratory currently monitors are salinity, dissolved
oxygen, phosphates, nitrates, temperature, pH,
turbidity, and enterococci bacteria. The Department
of Environmental Quality (DEQ) monitors 38 fixed
stations along Saipan's most frequently used west
coast beaches for microbiological and chemical
parameters weekly (Tier 1 beaches). On Managaha
Island (11 sites), Tinian (11 sites), and Rota (12 sites),
beaches are monitored at least twice a year for 8-week
continuous periods during the rainy and dry seasons
(Tier 2 beaches). At all Tier 2 beaches, after the 8-week
continuous monitoring periods, monthly sampling is
continued.

Beaches that have a high potential risk for harmful
pathogens and are heavily used by the public are all
considered Tier 1 beaches. Beaches that do not have a
high potential risk for harmful pathogens but may or
may not be heavily used by the public are considered
Tier 2 beaches. Tier 2 beaches also include the most
isolated beaches, which cannot feasibly be sampled
on a weekly basis. Tier 1 beaches are easily accessible,
commonly used by the public, and represent the
majority of impaired waters throughout CNMI. Tier
2 beaches are less accessible and represented more
supportive waterbodies. In the case of Managaha
Island, Tier 2 classification is used because historical
data sets show few violations despite a growing tourist
population visiting the island.

Public notification and outreach
When samples exceed the single sample or geometric
mean enterococci bacteria limits in the water quality
regulations, the beach is "red flagged," meaning a
warning is provided to the public not to swim there.
These bacteria criteria were updated in FY 20004
in the water quality regulations. DEQ uses the
local media (two newspapers) and their Web site to
provide real time results to the public. The Web site
posts the weekly results and historical summaries to
communicate potential risks to the public (www.deq.
gov.mp/beach%20monitoring%20web/Map%20Choice.
htm). Further, all reports are accompanied with a press
release making them available to any member of the
public. Additionally, signs are posted at six frequently
used beaches regarding the most recent testing results,
and are being installed at all other locations.

Ohio
Ohio has developed and continues to conduct a
program for monitoring the bacteria content at the
majority of recreational waters that are designated for
swimming, bathing, scuba diving, or similar water
contact activities. The partnership effort between
the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources, local health
departments with public bathing beaches within their
jurisdictions, and private or public organizations  along

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B-24
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  the Lake Erie border provides the citizens of Ohio
  with specific information regarding the most recent
  water quality conditions at most public beach areas
  throughout the state.

  Monitoring
  The monitoring program analyzes water from selected
  public beaches along the Lake Erie border during the
  summer, generating data for evaluating the risks of
  adverse health effects to bathers. The program provides
  for prompt notification whenever the water at public
  beaches becomes contaminated, thereby helping
  to better inform the bathing public and  ultimately
  prevent illness. The program also highly encourages
  the development of localized beach water monitoring
  efforts, predictive models for assessing recreational
  water quality, preemptive warning systems to inform
  the public more effectively, and aquatic sanitation
  programs for identifying and eliminating potential
  pollution sources.

  Collaboration of beach program with
  external parties to identify source problems
  In Ohio, much work is being done along the Lake
  Erie shoreline to ensure biologically safe swimming
  areas. Many agencies and organizations (both public
  and private) are  involved in identifying factors that
  adversely affect beach water. Some local health
  departments have instituted programs to locate and
  eliminate failed septic systems that might contribute
  to high bacteria counts at public beaches. Other
  organizations are concentrating on controlling the
  migratory habits of numerous waterfowl to minimize
  their effects on beach water quality. Two projects
  funded by Ohio's Lake Erie Commission, one at
  Maumee Bay State Park in the western Lake Erie
  basin and one in the Cleveland area, are working to
  identify  and eliminate sources of potentially harmful
  pathogens. By employing intense sampling surveys
  and sophisticated DNA fingerprinting technologies,
  researchers are seeking the sources of illness-causing
  bacteria  on Lake Erie beaches.

  Public notification and outreach
  In recent years,  high levels of E. coli bacteria have
  resulted  in Lake Erie beach postings, warning the
  public of the potential health hazards. ODH will use
  BEACH Act grant funds to improve advisory signs for
  use at monitored beaches, offering the public credible
  data for making informed decisions about their aquatic
  activity. Monitoring results are distributed to all
  monitored beaches, all local health departments along
  the lake, and various major newspaper and media
  outlets  in the Lake Erie basin.

  Oregon
  Monitoring
  Using an EPA BEACH Act grant, the Oregon Beach
  Monitoring Program (OBMP) began developing its
  monitoring and notification program in 2002 by
  prioritizing and selecting an initial list of beaches for
  sampling. During the first sampling season in 2003, the
  program sampled 99 sites at 52 beaches in all 7 counties
  along the Oregon coast. Six percent of these sites were
  monitored weekly, 44 percent were monitored every
  two weeks, and 50 percent were monitored monthly.

  In 2004, Oregon reduced the number of sites and
  beaches monitored to 60 and 19, respectively. Using
  EPA's recommendation for adaptive sampling, Oregon
  targeted those beaches that had the highest use and
  bacteria levels as indicated by the monitoring data
  collected the preceding year. While reducing the
  number of sites monitored,  Oregon nearly doubled
  its sampling frequency from the previous season—in
  2004,16 percent of the sites were monitored weekly, 74
  percent were monitored every 2 weeks, and 10 percent
  were monitored monthly.

  For the 2005 sampling season, Oregon again used an
  adaptive approach to prioritize its list and identified
  more than 70 sites at 21 beaches for sampling. This way,
  the program can ensure that each season it is using
  federal  BEACH dollars to monitor the most important
  Oregon beaches from a public health perspective.

  In addition, Oregon is one of the few states to monitor
  beach waters during the winter, when surfers are the
  primary beach users. To identify the beaches where
  surfing occurs most frequently, the OBMP has worked
  with the Oregon chapter of the Surfrider Foundation
  and local surf shops. At the time  of this writing,
  Oregon monitors 42 winter sampling sites at 12 beaches
  in 6 counties along the coast. The program has doubled

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-25
its sampling frequency from last winter, from once per
month to every other week, and will try to maintain
this frequency for subsequent monitoring seasons.

Public notification  and outreach
As of January 2005, Oregon has issued 20 beach
advisories at 12 beaches along the coast. Until recently,
the process for notifying the public of these water
quality advisories consisted of e-mail  messages to
stakeholders and local government officials, press
releases to media outlets throughout the state, and
signage at beach access points. Although this system
continues to be effective, Oregon has  taken important
steps to improve and expand public access to advisory
information and monitoring data.

To expand the reach of public notifications and to
make data accessible to the public, Oregon focused
its notification system improvements  on Internet
resources. For example, Oregon partnered with
Earth911 to disseminate beach advisory information
online. The Earth911 system maps all monitored
beaches and allows program staff to enter advisory
information as it is retrieved from the field. The public
can then access this information  for any monitored
beach in real time from both the  OBMP Web site
(http://oregon.gov/DHS/ph/beaches/beaches. shtml) and
the Earth911 Web site (www.earth911.org/waterquality/
default.asp?cluster=41).

To provide the public with access to monitoring results,
the program is collaborating with the Oregon Ocean-
Coastal Management Program's Coastal Atlas. The
Coastal Atlas is one of the nation's most comprehensive
coastal-area information systems, and it provides the
public with access to interactive maps and data sets
related to the Oregon coast. The program's partnership
with the Coastal Atlas will enable users to view
monitoring data by beach  or by sampling station and
will provide photographs and maps for each station.
That system is expected to be available on both the
Coastal Atlas and OBMP Web sites by May 2005.

For more information,  contact the Oregon Beach
Monitoring Program at 503-731-4012  or visit http://
egov.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/beaches/.
Rhode Island
Monitoring and assessment
Through routine water quality monitoring, supported
through the BEACH Act grant and conducted by
the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH)
in 2003 and 2004, three beaches were identified for
additional attention because of high bacteria densities
and frequent closings. Sanitary surveys at these beaches
Warren Town Beach, Easton Beach, and Scarborough
State Beach helped to reveal problems with storm
drains, sewer lines, and septic systems.

At Warren Town Beach, through sampling and
inspections conducted by HEALTH, the Rhode Island
Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM),
and the Warren Department of Public works, it  was
shown that sewage from a broken sewer line was
penetrating a brick stormwater catch basin and being
discharged into the bathing area. The town repaired
the sewer line, and routine sampling during the 2004
bathing season showed bacteria levels well below the
standard; no closings were necessary. HEALTH will
conduct additional wet weather sampling to ensure that
all local pollution sources have been addressed

In Newport, HEALTH, RIDEM, Rhode Island
Department of Transportation (RIDOT), EPA,  the
City of Newport, and the Town of Middletown have
been working to identify sources of pollution causing
closings at Easton's Beach. More than 350 water quality
samples have been collected in the area surrounding
the beach. Test results were modeled using GIS
techniques. This information was used to investigate
and eliminate pollution sources in the drainage system.
Smoke testing has revealed several possible cross-
connections between the sewer and stormwater system.
It was discovered that a pump station approximately
500 feet from the bathing area, in Middletown, Rhode
Island, was discharging untreated sewage during
high-flow events. RIDEM issued a Notice of Violation
(NOV) to the municipality. Short-term measures were
put into place to avoid discharge, except in the case of
extreme rainfall. Residents passed a $2.5 million bond,
which will fund the mandated reconstruction of the
defective pump station, as well as aid  in correcting the
structural integrity of faulty segments of the wastewater
infrastructure. In addition, Middletown has an  ongoing

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B-26
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  inflow and infiltration abatement project that will
  reduce pump station volumes and lower the risk to
  public health.

  At Scarborough State Beach, routine monitoring in
  the summer of 2003 identified high bacteria counts
  following rain events. Through sanitary surveys,
  HEALTH identified three stormwater discharges
  at this beach. The stormwater outfalls drain surface
  runoff from high-density residential development
  and several wetland areas. HEALTH, RIDEM, and
  EPA conducted extensive water quality sampling and
  inspected private septic systems in the surrounding
  area. Intensive sampling did not reveal a direct
  cause for the bacterial contamination, but several
  septic system violations were identified. RIDEM
  has issued citations to several facilities, including a
  vacation campground with more than 100 units and
  an inadequate sewage disposal system. Short-term
  corrections are in place at the campground; the owner
  has entered into a consent decree and will install sewers
  in the facility by the 2007 bathing season. RIDOT
  contracted with a private engineering firm to develop
  and construct a treatment system for the three outfalls.
  The engineering firm  decided to use new, innovative
  media technology to filter out bacteria before they are
  discharged into the bathing area.

  HEALTH will continue to monitor for bacteria at all
  these sites to monitor improvements and notify the
  public if unsafe conditions exist.

  Public notification and outreach
  HEALTH'S active and visible role in mitigating public
  health risks at beaches through the reduction of
  pollutants has spurred much interest. Media channels
  are reporting beach-related environmental and health
  concerns; the public has focused on beach closings;
  and, most important, there is the political will to
  correct these problems. Local communities have
  formed committees, municipalities have passed bonds,
  and nongovernmental organizations have turned a
  watchful eye to Rhode Island's beaches. The governor
  has formed a commission to reduce beach closings and
  fish kills, the legislature has authorized a permanent
  commission to provide recommendations for correcting
  the problem, and a $19 million bond fund was just
  passed to help clean up Narragansett bay.

  Dofo management
  HEALTH has worked with a vendor, Garrison
  Enterprises, Inc., to develop a Web-based beach
  monitoring and public notification database. The
  database will allow for the improved collection of data
  and transmission to EPA. It will also give HEALTH
  the ability to more effectively and quickly notify the
  public when opening or closing a bathing beach. A
  listing of all of Rhode Island's beaches, sample stations,
  facility information, facility contacts, monitoring data,
  open/closed information, season reports, and other
  environmental information can be accessed through
  this database from any Web connection. Much of this
  data is also available through a public portal available
  on HEALTH'S Beach Monitoring Web site at www.
  ribeaches.org. This real time access to data better
  equips managers and the public to make informed
  decisions about their recreational opportunities.
  HEALTH met the BEACH Act grant requirements
  in 2004 when  it electronically submitted to EPA (via
  XML) the 2003 and 2004 monitoring and notification
  data for the national beach database.

  South  Carolina
  Data management
  Grant funds provided to the South Carolina
  Department of Health and Environmental Control
  (DHEC) through the BEACH Act have allowed
  for many upgrades and improvements to the state's
  beach monitoring and notification program. One of
  the largest of these accomplishments is electronic
  storage and management of monitoring and advisory
  data. Previously, all records were maintained as paper
  copies. These  records were quickly reviewed and then
  filed. The data were not used in any constructive
  way, other than to issue and rescind advisories.
  With the need for electronic data arising from the
  requirements of the BEACH Act grant, this system
  was changed dramatically. South Carolina's existing
  Environmental Facility Information System (EFIS)
  is used to manage monitoring and advisory data. All
  monitoring data is manually entered into EFIS or
  uploaded from the Laboratory Information System
  (LIMS). The program coordinator enters advisory

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-27
information into EFIS. This improvement has allowed
for easy dissemination of monitoring and advisory data
to interested individuals through e-mail or printed
reports. The electronic format also makes it possible to
analyze monitoring data. In past years, gathering data
for analysis or to respond to a citizen's request was a
tedious process requiring a lot of time; now it is much
simpler.

Mini-grant program
The award of BEACH Act grant funds has allowed
South Carolina to establish a mini-grant program. A
portion of South Carolina's total grant award is set
aside to award monitoring and notification grants
to coastal municipalities. Municipalities apply for
grant awards through a competitive process. A
committee reviews and ranks grant applications. The
grants are then awarded  on the basis of ranking and
available funding. For the 2003 and 2004 cycles, all
municipalities that applied were awarded grant funds.
These monies can be used for collecting and analyzing
samples, purchasing advisory signs, and employing
staff to post and remove advisory signs.

The benefits of this program are multifaceted. The
municipalities benefit by becoming more involved in a
program that greatly affects their community. The local
state university benefits because currently, all funded
municipalities employ a local university to perform
sampling and analysis. This gives the university an
opportunity for student involvement and instruction,
as well as monetary support of the laboratory. The
state benefits from this process by building stronger
working relationships with the communities involved
in the beach monitoring program. Municipalities'
involvement also assists the state in rapid public
notification of advisories. Local municipal employees
are able to post and remove advisory signs more quickly
than a state employee, who must travel to the site. The
state plans to continue the mini-grant program as grant
funds are available. In coming years, the state hopes
to expand the program by encouraging more local
governments to apply for grant funding.

GPS data
Before receiving the BEACH Act grant,  South Carolina
had very little locational information regarding
sampling sites. Descriptions of site locations used only
nearby streets or landmarks. The length of each beach
was also imprecise and was estimated using maps.
Through the grant, South Carolina has collected GPS
data for each beach monitoring site. Use of these data,
in conjunction with GIS capabilities, has allowed South
Carolina to:

  • Determine the location of each site with respect to
    county lines

  • More accurately determine beach lengths

  • View beach monitoring stations in relation
    to other information layers, such as shellfish
    monitoring stations

  • Create location-specific maps for display in public
    areas, such as community information kiosks or
    state park camping areas

Compilation of locational data also allowed South
Carolina to participate in Earth911's beach advisory
notification Web site. Earth911 works in conjunction
with coastal states to provide advisory information
on the Internet. The Web site provides maps of the
state's beaches with the sample sites, marked by green
dots that become red when an advisory is issued for
the area. This Web site has added another avenue for
dissemination  of advisory information.

Tier III project
In August 2005, DHEC's Bureau of Water will issue
a contract for continued surveying at sites identified
previously as Tier III. This contractor will verify
the site locations, develop necessary survey forms,
document public access and use, and determine sources
of pollution.

Texas
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) administers
the Texas Beach Watch Program in conjunction with
various contracted entities, including county health
and parks departments, universities, state parks, and
municipalities. GLO oversees monitoring and public
notification on approximately 144 miles of beaches
in Texas. GLO has received $1.23 million in BEACH
Act grants since 2000 to develop and implement its
program.

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Beach segment classification
  During the development phase of the Texas Beach
  Watch Program, GLO used information from its own
  Texas Beach & Bay Access Guide to identify beaches
  within each of the coastal counties that may be eligible
  for implementation of a beach monitoring program.
  Beach segments were initially evaluated to determine
  whether swimming activities occurred at each beach.
  For those beaches at which swimming activities were
  occurring, the level of beach use was evaluated using
  GLO's observations and those provided by local entities
  with intimate knowledge about local beach usage.
  Beach segments identified with the highest frequency
  of use were then ranked and prioritized for monitoring
  under the BEACH Act. This classification system has
  provided a useful framework in which to prioritize
  funds for the implementation of the Beach Watch
  Program.

  Monitoring
  Prior to the passage of the BEACH Act, Texas was
  sampling at 13 of the most popular beaches on
  the Texas Gulf coast using National Oceanic and
  Atmospheric Administration Coastal Management
  Program funds. Using the BEACH Act grants, Texas
  expanded sampling to approximately 59 beaches in
  7 counties. Sampling using the BEACH Act funds
  began in 2003 following a 2-year period of program
  development. From January 1, 2003, through October
  31, 2004, GLO performed more than 7,000 sampling
  events at 59 coastal beaches in Texas.

  Public notification and outreach
  When beach water quality samples exceed the
  applicable water quality criteria for enterococcus,
  officials with jurisdiction over local beaches, as well
  as other interested citizens and citizens' groups, are
  immediately notified by e-mail. In most areas, local
  officials have agreed to post beach advisory signs
  to notify the public of potentially unsafe swimming
  conditions. Additionally, GLO maintains an
  interactive mapping tool on its Web site that allows
  the public to select individual beaches or stations
  and get information about current bacteria levels and
  recommended beach advisories. This GIS mapping
  tool provides real time water quality updates using
  the information entered into the Texas Beach Watch
  database. For a link to this interactive mapping tool
  see www.glo.state.tx.us/coastal/beachwatch/index.html.
  From January 1, 2003, through October 31, 2004, 392
  criterion exceedances were noted out of approximately
  7,000 sampling events. Local governments were
  notified, and advisories were posted at local beaches  at
  their discretion.

  Since the Beach Act was passed, the Texas Beach Watch
  Program has greatly expanded its monitoring and
  notification capabilities and the number of partners
  with which it works to implement the program. This
  has resulted in a much more visible beach monitoring
  program and an increased level of interest in beach
  water quality by the public.

  Virginia
  A new component to the program in 2004 included
  collaboration with Virginia Tech researcher Dr.
  Charles Hagedorn to conduct source tracking at
  beaches  that exceeded the standard for bacteria. Two
  source-tracking techniques were used on Virginia's
  beaches  during the 2004 swimming season. One
  method provided information on whether a human
  waste stream was present at the beaches; the second
  method provided greater detail into the source of
  contamination as identification of the bacteria were
  linked to more specific sources such as pets, wildlife,
  human, or waterfowl. The source tracking techniques
  have proved valuable to the cities of Hampton and
  Newport News in providing information to help them
  identify  where to target mitigation efforts in an attempt
  to control wastewater contamination of beaches in their
  localities.

  The Virginia Department of Health Beach Monitoring
  Program has the potential to prevent public exposure to
  waterborne pathogens when they are at levels that pose
  a greater than normal risk at the locations in Virginia
  where the greatest number of people may be affected.

  Virgin Islands
  The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) consists of
  four main islands—St. Thomas, St. John, Water Island,
  and St. Croix. These islands harbor some of the most
  fascinating and beautiful marine environments in the
  world. These aquatic resources have contributed to

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Appendix B: State and Territory Highlights
                                              B-29
drawing an average of two million divers, beachcombers
and sightseers per year spending nearly $100 million
since 1997. The USVI also has a coastline greater
than 185 nautical miles, allowing for public access at
hundreds of locations during a year-round swimming
season. These unique factors led to the development
and implementation of the United States Virgin
Islands Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program (the
Program), which is essential for the protection of both
beachgoers and the marine resources.

Before the implementation of the Program, the
Department of Planning and Natural Resources
(DPNR), Division of Environmental Protection (DEP)
sampled only a fixed network of coastal and offshore
waters quarterly through the Ambient Monitoring
Program. The frequency and sampling locations did
not sufficiently inform the community of the potential
health hazards in nearshore waters. This promoted
DPNR-DEP to apply for its first year of BEACH
Act grant funds  in 2001. First-year funds were used
to develop the program's Quality Assurance Project
Plan (QAPP). Second-year funds were directed to
implementation of the program. A total of 43 beaches
were selected—20 on St. Croix,  15 on St. Thomas and
8 on St. John. The selected beaches are monitored
weekly. Two state-approved labs were selected to
perform the analysis, one on St. Croix and one on
St. Thomas, and both use EPA method 1600 for
enterococci analysis. A Web site and a toll-free number
are being established to ensure that the public has
access to the data collected and  the public advisory
status of each beach. Temporary beach water quality
warning signs are being used until the permanent signs
are completely assembled. The Program has conducted
public outreach to several local public schools, and
several interviews with the local media have been held.

The Program officially began sampling in the St.
Thomas and St.  John districts in July 2004 and in the
St. Croix district in August 2004. Since the program
began, several press releases have been issued. Using
field research, DPNR-DEP has  found that the common
sources of bacterial contamination in the nearshore
waters at the designated beaches are soil runoff after
heavy rain events and occasional municipal sewer
overflows. However, other suspected contributing
factors are the garbage dumpsters that have been placed
in close proximity to the shoreline.

The Program, one of the newest programs within
DPNR-DEP, is also one of the most popular. Future
plans include conducting additional pollution source
investigations throughout the territory and continuing
public education sessions.

Wisconsin
Monitoring
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
(WDNR) operates Wisconsin's Beach Program. Under
this program, WDNR gives grants to communities
along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior to monitor
beach water for elevated bacteria levels. To design
its beach monitoring and notification program,
WDNR formed a workgroup composed of state-level
environmental and public health officials, local health
officials, and other interested parties. They identified
190 beaches along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior
using GPS technologies. This allowed WDNR to create
additional GPS data layers that included the location
of all wastewater treatment outfalls along with their
proximity to the beaches. WDNR collected additional
information for each beach, evaluating the potential for
impacts from stormwater runoff, bather and waterfowl
loads, and the location of outfalls and farms. WDNR
used this information to rank and classify beaches as
"high," "medium" or "low" priority. These rankings
indicate how often the beaches should be monitored
to ensure that water quality conditions are safe for
swimming. Passage of the BEACH Act has enabled
WDNR to substantially increase the number of beaches
it monitors, from 6 to 110 coastal beaches.

Public notification and outreach
WDNR's public notification and risk communication
measures were developed in collaboration with the
workgroup and other stakeholders, including the
public. These efforts included developing signs at
beaches to give notice to the public that the coastal
recreational waters are not meeting, or are not expected
to meet, water quality standards. These signs, which
are  also in Spanish and Hmong, were designed using
feedback from a beach user survey and public meetings

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  held around the state. Other products that were
  developed include:

    •  A statewide toll-free telephone service to make
      beach condition information available to the
      public

    •  An automatic e-mail service to which the public
      can subscribe to receive daily updates on beach
      conditions

    •  A statewide informational brochure,
      approximately 70,000 copies of which were
      distributed at local beaches, parks, and health
      departments

    •  A statewide Beach Health Web page (www.
      wibeaches.us) for collecting monitoring and
      advisory data and reporting up-to-date conditions
      at all coastal beaches

    •  An internal Web site for local health departments
      to report their daily advisory and monitoring data
      in the format required for EPA reporting at the
      end of the beach season

  Collaboration  of beach program with
  external parties to identify source problems
  Phytoremediation project in Racine, Wisconsin
  The Racine County Health Department collaborated
  with staff from federal, state, and local health
  and environmental agencies; nongovernmental
  organizations; academia; and students to plant native
  indigenous wetland plants upland of a beach to filter
  stormwater runoff and thereby reduce nonpoint
  source pollution into Lake Michigan. The plan is to
  reroute the flow of water from a stormwater outfall
  to infiltration beds upland of the beach using the
  native plants to filter the flow and reduce beach water
  pollution. The project should improve water quality,
  reduce the number of beach closings,  and increase
  protection of public health.

  Microbial source tracking in Door County,
  Wisconsin
  Door County has more than 250 miles of shoreline and
  a large number of public beaches that are frequented by
  many tourists during the summer season. The BEACH
  Act grant was used to monitor 27 Great Lakes beaches
  in the county in the summer of 2004. Although there
  was not enough funding to allow for identification of
  sources of detected microbial contamination, steps had
  to be taken to find out where the contamination source
  was and whether it was safe to swim at the beach. The
  Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department
  acquired funding to pay samplers and analysts to
  monitor E. coli  concentrations at selected beaches, near
  outfalls, and after rain events. Funds were also used to
  monitor avian waste concentrations; to isolate E. coli
  from beach water, avian waste, and human waste in
  Door County; and to conduct DNA fingerprinting and
  antibiotic sensitivity profiling of these isolates. These
  data are to be used to further characterize the indicator
  organism used  to monitor beach water quality and help
  to identify the source of contamination. Approximately
  1,000 E. coli isolates from water and waste, and the
  majority has been DNA fingerprinted and tested for
  antibiotic sensitivity.

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Appendix C
Beach-related References
 1.     National Beach Conference
       Proceedings (October 2004)
 The first national conference for EPA's National Beach
 Program, since passage of the BEACH Act, was held
 October 13-15, 2004, in San Diego, California. The
 conference was designed to help state and local beach
 managers and public health officials from across the
 country share information on implementing a successful
 recreational beach program. Representatives attended
 from all but 3 of the 36 Beach Act states and territories,
 at least 2 inland states, Canada, Mexico, and the United
 Kingdom. Attendees recognized the progress made in
 developing state beach programs four years after passage
 of the BEACH Act in 2000. They also recognized the
 significant technological advances in developing rapid
 methods for microbial analysis and microbial source
 tracking techniques. Several examples presented at the
 conference confirmed innovative program development
 in states where beach programs had not existed before
 Congress passed the BEACH Act.

 A panel discussion on the second day of the conference
 was designed to promote frank and open discussion
 of beach monitoring and beach program issues.
 Panel members with different areas of expertise and
 experience related to federal and state environmental
 policy, beach water quality, health, and monitoring
 each addressed two main questions. After the panel
 members addressed the questions, the questions were
 then put out to conference attendees for discussion and
 questions.

 The proceedings of the National Beaches Conference
 are available at this Web address: www.epa.gov/
 waterscience/beaches/meetings/2004/index.htm.
2.    Tropical Indicators Workshop
      (March  2001)
A 2-day workshop titled "Tropical Water Quality
Indicator Workshop" was held at the Waikiki Beach
Marriott Resort in Honolulu on March 1-2, 2001. The
primary funding agency for this workshop was the
EPA's Office of Water, with matching funds provided
by the Department of Health, State of Hawaii, and by
the Water Resources Research Center, University of
Hawaii. Mr. Rick Hoffmann of EPA was the project
officer, and Dr. Roger Fujioka of the Water Resources
Research Center served as the workshop coordinator.
The overall goal of this workshop was to address issues
identified under the "Tropical Indicators" section of
the EPA Action Plan for Beaches and Recreational Waters
(EPA/600/R-98/079), which is restated below:

Tropical indicators
Currently recommended fecal indicators may not be
suitable for assessing human health risks in the tropics.
Studies have suggested that at tropical locales such as
Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Guam, E. coli and enterococci
can be detected in waters where there is no apparent
warm-blooded animal source of contamination.
Whether or not current indicator bacteria proliferate
naturally in soil and water under tropical conditions
must be determined. If so, the range of conditions
(such as nutrients, temperature, pH and salinity) under
which the bacteria proliferate will be characterized
and their geographical boundaries defined. If the
phenomenon is widespread under tropical conditions,
additional research will be conducted to modify
approaches for monitoring, or to develop new tropics-
specific indicators. Further evaluation of Clostridium
perfringens and other microbial indicators (including
                                                                                                C-l

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C-2                                                   Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  coliphages) that do not flourish naturally in the tropics
  will be conducted to determine their usefulness as
  alternative indicators.

  To address the above problem, 18 national and
  international experts, as well as other "observers"
  defined as those with relevant experience from a
  regulatory or environmental perspective, were selected
  to participate in the workshop. Selection of the experts
  was based on their established professional reputation
  and expertise in water quality microbiology and
  some applicable working knowledge of water quality
  problems in tropical areas.

  The full report from this workshop is available at this
  Web address:
  www.wrrc.hawaii.edu/tropindworkshop.html.

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Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
Appendix D
Other Research
EPA has a number of grant programs that support
research in areas of special significance to the Agency's
mission. EPA's National Center for Environmental
Research in the Office of Research and Development
runs competitions for Science to Achieve Results, or
STAR grants, in numerous environmental science
and engineering disciplines through a competitive
solicitation process and independent peer review. The
program engages scientists and engineers in targeted
research that complements EPA's own intramural
research program.

The Regional Applied Research Effort (RARE) provides
the Regions with a mechanism to address near term
research needs through an ORD Laboratory/Center.
Applied research projects are funded to meet informa-
tion needs that a Region identifies as necessary and that
an ORD laboratory has the expertise to carry out.

The EPA is also one of 11 federal agencies that par-
ticipate in the Small Business Innovation Research
Program established by the Small Business Innovation
Development Act of 1982.  The purpose of this Act was
to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally
funded R&D and help develop a stronger national base
for technical innovation. Through the SBIR Program,
EPA makes awards to small, high-tech firms to help
develop and commercialize cutting-edge environmental
technologies.

Science to Achieve Results (STAR)
Grants
Data Collection and Modeling of Enteric
Pathogens, Fecal Indicators and Real-Time
Environmental Data at Madison, Wl (EPA
Grant Number: R829339)
The City of Madison, Wisconsin contains three
recreational lakes with over 20 miles of shoreline
within the city limits. The lakes are heavily used for
recreational activities including sail boating, power
boating, wind surfing, water skiing, swimming, scuba
diving, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and jet skiing.
The Madison Department of Public Health (MDPH)
developed beach-closing criteria using testing results,
combined with physical observations at the beach sites.
There was a concern that the criteria might not reflect
the actual risk to swimmers because the occurrence
of pathogenic microorganisms during periods of high
indicator  levels had never been determined.

The objectives of this research are to:

1.  Expand the current city beach monitoring program
   to include use of improved indicators that index
   changes in the microbial quality of the beach water
   including sensitive gene probe technologies to
   discriminate between human and animal sources of
   fecal pollution.

2.  Determine the correlations between microbial
   indicator data, occurrence of pathogens, and
   meteorological, physical and water quality data
   collected by remote monitoring stations.

3.  Consider mathematical constructs for modeling
   pathogen occurrence.

4.  Create  innovative partnerships with community
   groups and agencies to facilitate dissemination of
   water quality data and beach closure decisions,
   including development of a water quality web-based
   database with dynamic query capacity for the public.

For more  information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
abstracts/index.cfmfuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
abstract/5843/report/O
                                                                                                D-l

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D-2
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring and
  Modeling for Equitable Recreation on the
  Mystic River (EPA Grant Number: R829338)
  The city of Somerville, Massachusetts, in collaboration
  with Tufts University and the Mystic River Watershed
  Association, proposed a project that combines
  advanced technology for real-time water quality and
  meteorological monitoring with sampling of bacterial
  levels to develop a model that anticipates river
  conditions, especially after heavy rains. The real-
  time data, water quality indices, and model-generated
  water quality predictions will be made available to the
  public via the Internet as well as color-coded flags at
  riverfront sites. The predictive model will enhance
  standard water quality monitoring by providing a way
  to anticipate bacterial levels that ordinarily require
  24 hours to assess, leaving citizens in this dense
  and heavily polluted river basin with inadequate
  information about water safety.

  The project objectives include collection of water
  quality indicator data (e.g., fecal coliform, enterococcus,
  DO, turbidity) along with data on depth, temperature,
  pH, conductivity, and meteorological conditions in
  real-time to develop an "early warning" water quality
  forecasting model. The data presentations will interpret
  the data into indices useful for everyday decisions
  about contact  with the water.

  For more information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
  abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
  abstract/5858/report/O

  Prevalence  and Survival of Microorganisms
  in Shoreline Interstitial Waters: A Search
  for Indicators of Health  Risks  (EPA Grant
  Number: R828830)
  Researchers felt there was some suggestion in the
  literature that the microbiological quality of beach sand
  may constitute a health risk to bathers, particularly
  children who spend time in the "swash zone." Sand
  could act as a filter to trap and concentrate bacteria,
  spores, and cysts because it has a large surface area
  for microbial attachment, ample oxygen levels, higher
  temperatures, and a constant resupply of nutrients
  through wave action and tides. Pathogenic organisms
  could potentially accumulate in interstitial space.
  Organisms could then be periodically swept from
  surfaces and transported to the surf zone where they
  pose a health risk aggravated by the abrasive nature
  of sand, the ingestion of contaminated waters, and
  the inhalation of aerosols rich in microbes. Thus,
  individuals exposed to the surf zone of populated
  beaches may show a higher incidence of illnesses from
  either enteric or nonenteric pathogens.

  The study will document the number of "classic"
  fecal indicators in sand (E. coli, enterococci, and fecal
  coliforms), paying attention to whether they are free
  in interstitial space or attached to sand particles.
  Consideration will be given to the possibility that some
  of these organisms are lofted into the air. Other non-
  indigenous microorganisms in sand including non-
  enterics, coliphage and several eukaryotic microbes
  will be enumerated. A laboratory-based microcosm
  will be enumerated to study the survival (and growth)
  of indicator organisms in sand relative to overlying
  open water. Additionally, correlations of microbial
  abundance data to incidences of beach-related
  indicators will be compiled.

  For more information visit:http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
  abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
  abstract/1009/report/O

  Near-Real Time Monitoring  of Inland
  Suburban Waterways: Application to Three
  Critical  Environmental Issues Facing the
  North Shore/Metro Boston (EPA Grant
  Number: R828582)
  Local citizen groups are engaged in environmental
  monitoring of two major tributaries that empty into
  Plum Island Sound estuary, the Ipswich and Parker
  Rivers. In addition, commonwealth, federal agency
  and research/academic groups have carried out focused
  studies on these watersheds.

  The proposed work assembles a consortium of eleven
  partner groups drawn from the public, academic, and
  private sectors. Through this partnership the group
  wants to link several, ongoing, but currently uncoordi-
  nated, environmental monitoring efforts. The existing
  environmental data sets will serve as a historical bench-
  mark by which to assess future change detected by the

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Appendix D: Other Research
                                              D-3
near real-time monitoring system that will be installed.
Pooled data will be evaluated with models and Web tools
to observe the changing character of the Ipswich and
Parker watersheds. Although the focus is on monitoring,
the consortium also has technical expertise to interpret
and draw scientifically sound conclusions from the
emerging data sets. An active public outreach program is
included in the proposal.

The focal point for this work will be a geospatial
Web-based information system, the Ipswich/Parker
Suburban Watershed Channel (I/PS-WATCH), akin
to the "Weather Channel" but reporting on suburban
watershed environmental variables. The interface will
represent extension of an existing system (see: http://
www.gm-wics.sr.unh.edu/ for prototype). I/PS-WATCH
will be applied to three sub-projects, already identified
by the partners as of high public relevance, cast in near
real-time.

For more information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
abstract/408/report/O

Molecular Detection of Anaerobic Bacteria
as Indicator Species for Fecal Pollution in
Water (EPA Grant Number:  R827639)
Fecal  contamination of aquatic environments is
a continuing problem. Yet some of the standard
indicators for fecal pollution do not distinguish
between human and animal sources. A novel indicator
system was developed based on the anaerobic gut
bacterial group Bacteroides/Prevotella. Molecular
markers, amplified from bacteria filtered from
the water, are measured. This method can  already
distinguish human from cow fecal pollution in both
estuarine and river waters. The proposed study will
focus  on a small, nutrient-rich, fecally polluted estuary,
Tillamook Bay, Oregon, and its tributary rivers.

The objectives of this proposal are:

  1. To develop additional markers from other
    biologically important polluting species, such as
    waterfowl.

  2. Identify the indicator strains or species that are
    host-specific.
  3. To allow quantitative estimation of both the
    amount of total pollution in the water and the
    proportions of different sources of fecal pollution.

For more information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
abstract/279/report/O

Community Recreational Water Risk
Assessment and Public Outreach  (EPA Grant
Number: R827063)
A consortium was formed with several scientific and
community organizations for the purpose of more
effectively collecting and disseminating to the public
recreational water quality data from several beaches
in Milwaukee and Racine. This project is focusing on
reporting E. coli levels to the public in a time-relevant
and meaningful format.

Project objectives include:
  * To improve documentation and dissemination of
    environmental data specifically related to health
    risk associated with the recreational use of public
    beaches.
  * To improve the type, quantity and quality of
    environmental data collected at and around public
    beaches in both Milwaukee and Racine Counties
    in development of a public health risk model.
  * To improve coordination and collaboration of
    environmental data collected between Local
    Public Health Agencies (LPHAs), other
    organizations and community stakeholders, and
    standardize data collection.

For more information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
abstract/427/report/O

Regional Applied Research Effort
(RARE) Grants
Deve/opmenf of Guidance on Decision-
Making When Using Microbial Source
Tracking Methods
Molecular biology methods (e.g., DNA fingerprinting)
are now commonplace in public health monitoring

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D-4
Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress
  programs. One of the more common uses is microbial
  source tracking (MST), i.e., identifying the sources
  of pathogens in water. The potential value of these
  methods is illustrated in a recent report published by
  the Natural Resources Defense Council. The report
  noted that 87 percent of the 13,000 beach closings
  and water advisories in 2001 were due to high levels
  of bacteria associated with fecal contamination, but
  in 54 percent of the cases, the exact source of the
  contamination could not be identified.

  The methods that have been used include genotypic
  (e.g., ribotyping, rep-PCR, and pulsed-field gel
  electrophoresis) and phenotypic (antibiotic resistance
  testing and carbon utilization) approaches. These
  methods have already been used in recreational water
  and shellfish bed closure programs, TMDLs, and
  source water protection for both surface water and
  ground water in several coastal states in the United
  States. Although already in use by state and local
  governments, these methods have not been fully
  validated, and no single best method for all situations
  has been discovered. Integration of the vast array of
  information on these methods and publishing of this
  guidance as an EPA document will support the Regions
  in the appropriate use of these methods and inform
  potential  users of issues that need to be considered
  when selecting a method.

  For more information visit:
  http://intranet.ord.epa.gov:9876/OSP/RARE.
  nsf/7523fef8d5be8b05852569fa00619181/
  0540aOd5a97be2fa85256f6600589621?OpenDocument

  Proof of Concept Demonstration for
  Near Real-Time In Situ Detection of Fecal
  Contamination  in  Fresh and Marine Waters
  A key component of monitoring is the detection and
  timely reporting of concentrations of bacteria that are
  associated with human gastroenteritis and indicate
  fecal contamination. Current monitoring methods
  require incubation periods between 24 hours and
  3 days before public health decisions can be made.
  The development of new in situ instruments with the
  capability for rapid, near real-time, quantification
  of bacterial densities would provide a more effective
  and better warning system for both environmental
  managers and the public.
  For more information visit: http://intranet.
  ord.epa.gov:9876/OSP/RARE.nsf/
  7523fef8d5be8b05852569fa00619181/aOc21dbd217c5e648
  5256c83006cdae3?OpenDocument

  Small Business  Innovation  Research
  (SBIR) Program
  Portable  Pathogenic Predictor for Storm
  water (EPA Contract Number: 68D99028)
  The key objective of this phase of the project is
  to develop a novel dual-wavelength radiometric
  fluorescence method and sensor for the detection of
  coliform bacteria in water samples. The radiometric
  technology will be rapid, robust, and suitable for the
  development of online sensors for monitoring the
  effluents of urban storm water and sewage treatment
  plants. This novel approach, unlike previous single-
  wavelength intensity-based methods, will be highly
  immune to light source and detector instabilities,
  temperature effects, optical density, and turbidity
  variability in the sample,  spurious quenching, and
  photobleaching. In contrast to current methods that
  take 24 hours or more to generate results, the proposed
  technology will provide reliable results in minutes to
  hours, depending on bacterial concentration.

  The overall potential market for coliform testing
  of water encompasses several segments: drinking
  water, municipal sewage, coastal fisheries, shellfish
  aquaculture, and beach and recreational waters.
  Products will include a portable instrument, reagent
  kits, and online sensors.

  For more information visit: http://cfpu b.epa.gov/ncer_
  abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
  abstract/1267/report/O

  A New Biosensor for Rapid Identification of
  Bacterial Pathogens  (EPA Contract Number:
  68D02051)
  Rapid, handheld, or portable instrumentation for
  determining the quality of natural waters, recreational
  waters, and distributed and treated supplies does not
  currently exist. Echo Technologies, Inc., completed a
  Phase I project that demonstrated a new approach for
  identifying bacteria in aqueous systems. The approach
  uses bacteriophage as the molecular recognition

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Appendix D: Other Research
                                                D-5
element. Bacteriophage are virus particles that
generally attach to, and infect, a narrow range of host
cells. Biosensors based on this molecular recognition
offer a rapid, selective, and potentially very sensitive
method to detect bacteria and bacterial pathogens in
potable and recreational waters.

Several experiments were conducted with a customized
detection system to demonstrate the feasibility of
making a small in-line instrument capable of high-
sensitivity detection.

Application of the fabricating fluorescently labeled
virus probes (FLVP) technology to solid-state optical
sensing represents a new approach to real-time
detection of bacterial pathogens. This approach will
minimize the need for culturing to identify pathogens
and is an important departure from immunoassay- or
DNA-based sensing concepts. The miniature probes
are perfectly suited for incorporation in a sensor array
for the simultaneous detection of many bacterial
pathogens.

For more information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
abstract/5182/report/O

Automated Human Fecal Pollution Detection
(EPA Contract Number: EPD05036)
Public health departments have set strict standards for
the quantity of coliform bacteria allowed in the water.
Because of the requirement to detect very low levels
of these bacteria, rapid automated detection is very
difficult. Culture techniques take 24 hours, and the
more rapid DNA amplification techniques still require
DNA purification and the use of unstable enzymes and
nucleotides as well as elaborate instrumentation, all of
which are difficult and expensive to automate. In this
research project, an automated biosensor capable of
detecting low levels of fecal microorganisms without
the need for bacterial culture or DNA amplification
techniques will be developed. The biosensor should
be sensitive enough to detect fecal  microorganisms at
a level of 1 coliform cell per 100 mL of water within
30 minutes. The sensing element will be reusable to
allow for long-term, unattended, cost-effective analysis.
The sensor also should distinguish human from farm
livestock sources of fecal pollution.

The final product is envisioned as an automated buoy
placed in drinking water inlet sources, swimming
waters, and shellfish or other aquaculture growing
waters. The buoy will report fecal microorganism
levels at set time intervals by remote telemetry
communication. A portable version of the instrument
also will be developed.

For more information visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_
abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/
abstract/7485/report/O

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D-6                                             Implementing the BEACH Act of 2000 Report to Congress

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