&EFA
    United States
    Environmental Protection
    Agency
              EPA's  BEACH   Report:
              Virgin Islands 2011   Swimming Season
              September 2012
EPA 820-F-12-037
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
U.S. Virgin Islands for the 2011 swimming season.


2011 Swimming Season
Monitoring and Notification
Actions
Virgin Islands monitored 43 coastal beaches on
three islands 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, Virgin Islands officials
issue a beach advisory, warning people of possible
risks of swimming.

How many beaches had notification actions?
In 2011, of the 43 coastal beaches that the Virgin
Islands monitored, 14 (33 percent) had at least one
notification action. This is approximately the same
as in the previous  two years (Figure 2).
                                           Figure 1. U.S. Virgin Islands

Island




ST. CROIX
ST. JOHN
ST. THOMAS
TOTALS
Total
Beaches
20
8
15
43

Monitored
20
8
15
43
Not
Monitored
0
0
0
0
                                              St. Thomas
  St. John
                                                       St. Croix
                                          Table 1.  Number of monitored and
                                                  unmonitored coastal beaches
                                                  for 2011.

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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
          3-7 days
            97%
How many notification actions were issued and
how long did they last?
The Virgin Islands issued 95 notification actions
during the 2011 swimming season. Typically
the Virgin Islands lifts an action when follow-up
monitoring indicates that water quality complies
with applicable standards. In all cases water quality
returned to normal and beaches were deemed safe
for swimming within a week or less (Figure 3).

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 beach days are determined by
multiplying the length of the beach season by
                                                        2011

                                                        2010

                                                        2009

                                                        2008

                                                        2007
              To the Beach)
              To the Beach \
             MTo the Beach \
99.4%

99.6%

99.5%

99.6%

99.9%
the number of beaches in the state. For 2011
EPA calculated that 15,695 beach days were
associated with the swimming seasons of the
43 monitored Virgin Islands beaches. The Virgin
Islands reported notification actions on 95 days,
meaning that beaches were open and safe for
swimming approximately 99 percent of the time.
This continues  the trend of consistently high
percentages of  open beach days  (Figure 4).


For More  Information
For information about the Virgin Islands beach
program contact:
Leah Motta
Virgin Islands Department of Planning and
Natural Resources
Tel: 340-773-1082
e-mail: leahmotta@hotmail.com
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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