United States
    Environmental Protection
              EPA's  BEACH   Report:
              New York  2012  Swimming Season
              September 2013
  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 New York for the 2012 swimming season.

  2012 Swimming Season
  Monitoring and Notification
  A total of 342 coastal beaches were monitored in
  15 counties during the 2012 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, New York officials issue a
  beach advisory, warning people of possible risks of
  swimming or close the beach to public swimming
  until further monitoring finds that water quality
  complies with applicable standards.

  How many beaches had notification actions?
  In 2012, of the 342 coastal beaches that New York
  monitored,  151 (44 percent) had at least one
  notification action (Figure 2). This is a decrease
  from 2011, the year of Hurricane Irene.
Figure 1. New York coastal counties


   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 2012
               over 30 days

     8-30 days
                                   1-2 days
How many notification actions were issued and
how long did they last?
New York issued 857 notification actions during the
2012 swimming season. Typically New York lifts
an action when follow-up monitoring indicates that
water quality complies with applicable standards.
For the majority of actions (89 percent)  water
quality returned to normal and beaches were
deemed safe for swimming within one  or two
days (Figure 3). Only rarely (three percent) did
notification actions last more than a week.

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 the Beach )
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>  94.2%



to better track trends over time. Total available
beach days are determined by multiplying the
length of the beach season by the number of
beaches in the state. For 2012 EPA calculated
that 35,280 beach days were associated with the
swimming seasons of the 342 monitored New York
beaches. New York reported notification actions
on 1,848 days, meaning that beaches were open
and safe for swimming about 95 percent of the
time. This percentage is similar to previous years
(Figure 4).

For  More Information
For information about the New York beach
program contact:
Eric Wiegert
New York State Department of Health
Tel: 518-402-7600
e-mail: ejwQ5@health.state.ny.us
For general information about beaches visit:
For information about a specific beach visit: