&EFA
    United States
    Environmental Protection
    Agency
              EPA's  BEACH  Report:
              Rhode Island  2011  Swimming Season
              September 2012
                      EPA820-F-12-043
  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 Rhode Island for the 2011 swimming
  season.
  2011 Swimming Season
  Monitoring and Notification
  Actions
  Rhode Island monitored 72 coastal beaches in
  four 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, Rhode Island officials
  close the beach to public swimming until further
  monitoring finds that water quality complies with
  applicable standards.

  How many beaches had notification actions?
  In 2011, of the 72 coastal beaches that Rhode
  Island monitored, 18 (25 percent) had at least one
  notification action (Figure 2). This is approximately
  the same as in previous years.
                                          Figure 1. Rhode Island coastal counties.
Table 1.  Number of monitored and
        unmonitored coastal beaches by
        county for 2011.

County




BRISTOL
KENT
NEWPORT
PROVIDENCE
WASHINGTON

TOTALS
Total
Beaches
20
16
86
8
100
230

Monitored
4
4
18
0
46
72
Not
Monitored
16
12
68
8
54
158

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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
How many notification actions were issued and
how long did they last?
Rhode Island issued 37 notification actions during
the 2011 swimming season. Typically Rhode Island
lifts an action when follow-up monitoring indicates
that water quality complies with applicable
standards. For the majority of actions (81 percent)
water quality returned to normal and beaches were
deemed safe for swimming within one or two days
(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 the number of
                                                        2011

                                                        2010

                                                        2009

                                                        2008

                                                        2007
              To the Beach)
              To the Beach)
              To the Beach)
99.0%

99.0%

97.4%

98.3%

99.0%
beaches in the state. For 2011 EPA calculated
that 7,200 beach days were associated with the
swimming seasons of the 22 monitored Rhode
Island beaches. Rhode Island reported notification
actions on 74 days, meaning that beaches were
open and safe for swimming about 99 percent of
the time. This continues the trend of consistently
high percentages of open beach days at state
beaches (Figure 4).


For More Information
For information about the Rhode Island beach
program contact:
Amie Parris
Rhode Island Department of Health
and Environmental Control
Tel: 401-222-7727
e-mail: amie.parris@health.ri.gov
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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