&EFA
    United States
    Environmental Protection
    Agency
              EPA's  BEACH  Report:
              Maryland  2011  Swimming  Season
              July 2012
                      EPA820-F-12-016
  Introduction
  The Beaches Environmental Assessment and
  Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000 authorizes
  EPA to provide grants to coastal and Great Lakes
  states, territories, and eligible tribes to monitor
  their coastal beaches for bacteria that indicate the
  possible presence of disease-causing pathogens
  and to notify the public when there is a potential
  risk to public health. The BEACH Act requires that
  recipients of those grants report their coastal beach
  monitoring and notification data to EPA. This fact
  sheet highlights the data submitted to EPA by the
  State of Maryland for the 2011 swimming season.


  2011  Swimming Season
  Monitoring and Notification
  Actions
  Maryland monitored 70 coastal beaches in nine
  counties during the 2011 swimming season
  (Figure  1 and Table 1). When monitoring results
  at swimming beaches show that levels of specific
  indicator bacteria in the water exceed applicable
  water quality standards, Maryland officials issue a
  beach advisory, warning people of possible risks of
  swimming.

  How many beaches had notification actions?
  In 2011  of the 70 coastal beaches that Maryland
  monitored, 12 (17 percent) had at least one
  notification action (Figure 2). This is a lower
  percentage than the previous year.
Figure 1. Maryland coastal counties.
Table 1. Number of monitored and
       unmonitored coastal beaches
       by county for 2011.
1 County








ANNEARUNDEL
BALTIMORE
CALVERT
CECIL
KENT
QUEEN ANNE'S
SOMERSET
ST. MARY'S
WORCESTER
TOTALS
Total
Beaches
28
4
10
5
6
2
2
3
10
70
Monitored
28
4
10
5
6
2
2
3
10
70
Not
Monitored
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

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   Figure 2: Percent of beaches with one or
            more notification actions
   Figure 4: Percent of beach days open
            and safe for swimming
   Figure 3: Duration of beach notification
            actions in 2011
            1-2 days
             20%
      8-30 days
         10%
                                   3-7 days
                                     55%
How many notification actions were issued and
how long did they last?
Maryland issued 20 notification actions during the
2011 swimming season. Typically Maryland lifts
an action when follow-up monitoring indicates that
water quality complies with applicable standards.
For the majority of actions (75%) water quality
returned to normal and beaches were deemed safe
for swimming within a week or less (Figure 3).
In many cases, the length of the advisory was a
reflection of the timing between sampling events
rather than a risk to swimmers.

What percentage of days were beaches under
a notification action?
EPA calculates the total available beach days and
the number of beach days with notification actions
to better track trends over time. Total available
                                                        2011

                                                        2010

                                                        2009

                                                        2008

                                                        2007
              To the Beach )
              To the Beach)
             MTo the Beach )
                                                                jo the Beach
96.4%

94.9%

98.2%

99.1%

96.3%
beach days are determined by multiplying the
length of the beach season by the number of
beaches in the state. For 2011 EPA calculated
that 6,768 beach days were associated with the
swimming seasons of the 70 monitored Maryland
beaches. Maryland reported notification actions on
244 days, meaning that beaches were open and safe
for swimming about 96 percent of the time. This
percentage is similar to previous years (Figure 4).


For  More Information
For information about the Maryland beach program
contact:
Heather Merritt
Maryland Department of the Environment,
Technical and Regulatory Services
Tel: 410-537-3618
e-mail: hmerritt@mde.state.md.us
For general information about beaches visit:
http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/.
For information about a specific beach visit:
http://watersgeo.epa.gov/beacon2/.

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