United States                     Office of Water
                  Environmental Protection Agency          4305
    January 2007
              I  EPA Makes Grants Available to States to Implement
                  Water Quality Monitoring and Public Notification
                  Programs at the Nation's Beaches
EPA is making almost $10 million
in grants available in 2007 to
eligible states to protect public
health at the Nation's beaches.
These grants are available to
coastal and Great Lakes states to
help them implement programs to
monitor water quality at the beach
and to notify the public when water
quality problems exist.

Each swimming season, state and local health and environmental protection agencies monitor the
quality of water at the Nation's beaches.  When bacteria levels in the water are too high, these
agencies notify the public by posting beach warnings or closing the beach.

To improve water quality testing at the beach and to help beach managers better inform the
public when there are water quality problems, Congress passed the Beaches Environmental
Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act) in October 2000. This Act authorizes EPA to
award grants to eligible states, tribes, and territories to develop and implement beach water
quality monitoring and notification programs at coastal and Great Lakes recreational waters at
beaches. These grants also help states develop and implement programs to inform the public
about the risk of exposure to disease-causing microorganisms in the waters at the Nation's


In 2007, EPA expects to award $9,900,000 in grants to eligible states, tribes, and territories for
the beach program. For this sixth year of the BEACH Grants, EPA expects to award grants
based on an allocation formula to all eligible States  and Territories who apply. EPA consulted
with states and the Coastal States Organization in 2002 to develop this formula, which considers
three factors: 1) beach season length, 2) beach miles, and 3) beach use. EPA used the same
formula as was used in 2006, which includes using shoreline  miles as a surrogate for beach
miles, while EPA evaluates beach length data.
Based on this allocation formula, if all 35 eligible states and territories apply, the size of the
grant award ranges from $150,000 to $534,700. EPA expects all 35 eligible governments to

apply.  If fewer apply or qualify for the grants, then EPA will redistribute available funds to
states according to the following principles:
       1)      States that meet the program performance criteria published by EPA in June 2002
              (EPA-823-B-02-004) will receive the full amount of funds for which they qualify
              under the allocation formula.
       2)      States that have not met the requirements for implementation grants may receive
              grants for continued program development. Any program development grants
              that the Agency awards will be for the limited purpose of completing work
              needed to qualify for implementation grants. Therefore, we expect that funding
              levels for continued program development grants will be lower than the amount
              described in 1) above.
       3)      EPA may award program implementation grants to local governments in states
              that have not met the requirements for program implementation.
       4)      EPA may use the grant allocation formula to make additional funds available for
              implementation grants to states that have met the performance criteria.

If all 35 eligible states  and territories apply and meet the performance criteria, the distribution of
funds for year 2007 is expected to be:
For the state or
territory of:
American Samoa
The year 2007 allocation
is expected to be:
For the state or
territory of:
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Northern Marianas
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
U.S. Virgin Islands
The year 2007
allocation is expected to be:

EPA has set aside $50,000 for eligible tribes who may apply to develop a beach program. EPA
expects to apportion these funds evenly among all eligible tribes that apply.

How Long Will the Funding and Project Periods Last?

The expected funding and project period for Implementation Grants awarded in 2007 is one year.
In future years, EPA may award more grants to eligible states, tribes, territories and local
governments to support the development and implementation of monitoring and notification

Who Is Eligible to Apply?

In order to be eligible for BEACH Act grants, states and territories must have coastal and Great
Lakes recreational waters next to beaches or similar points of access used by the public. Under
the BEACH Act, EPA can also award grants to eligible tribes.  To receive BEACH Act grants,
tribes, like states and territories, must have coastal and Great Lakes recreational waters next to
beaches or similar points of access used by the public. In addition, a tribe must demonstrate that
it meets the "treatment in the same manner as a state" criteria contained in section 518(e) of the
Clean Water Act.  EPA encourages those Tribes with coastal recreation waters to contact their
regional Beach Act grant coordinator for further information regarding the application process as
soon as possible.

In July 2002, EPA published the National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria
for Grants (EPA-823-B-02-004) which explains the requirements for states, tribes, and local
governments to qualify for implementation grants. You can find this document on EPA's
website at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/beaches. You can also get the guidance by writing
or calling the Office of Water Resources Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail
Code 4100T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20460. (202-566-1731) or by
sending an e-mail to: center.water-resource@epa.gov.

The BEACH Act  authorizes EPA to give a grant to a local government to implement a
monitoring and notification program.  We may do so only if the Agency finds that the state is not
implementing a program that met the requirements of the Act one year after we published
performance criteria for beach programs on July 19, 2002. Local governments may contact their
EPA Regional office for further information about BEACH Act grants.

How Does a State or Territory Apply?

Eligible states  and territories may get an application from their regional EPA beach contact.
These contacts are listed in the Federal Register Notice of Availability for the BEACH grants on
EPA's Beach Watch web site at www.epa.gov/waterscience/beaches/grants.

For More Information

For more information on the BEACH grants, please contact your EPA Regional beach program
representative  or the Office of Water's Standards and Health Protection Division at (202) 566-