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EPA's BEACH Report:
Hawaii 2010 Swimming Season
May 2011
Introduction
The BEACH Act of 2000 requires that coastal
and Great Lakes states and territories report
to EPA on beach monitoring and notification
data for their coastal recreation waters.
The BEACH Act defines coastal recreation
waters as the Great Lakes and coastal waters
(including coastal estuaries) that states,
territories, and authorized tribes officially
recognize or designate for swimming,
bathing, surfing, or similar activities in the
water.
This fact sheet summarizes beach monitoring
and notification data submitted to EPA by
the State of Hawaii for the 2010 swimming
season.
Under the BEACH Act, almost all of Hawaii's
coastal waters are considered "beaches." A
beach can be a cliff, rocky shoreline, or a
sandy stretch of coastline. As long as the
water along the coastline is used for full
contact water recreation, it is considered a
beach.
Hawaii's monitoring program focuses on
intensity of use, as the guide in the selection
of beaches to be monitored and the frequency
of sampling.
Recent budget cuts and reductions in force
have drastically affected the monitoring of
Oahu beaches by the Hawaii Department
of Health, The monitoring section lost five
employees on the island of Oahu. As a result,
Oahu sampling was concentrated only on
Tier 1 beaches in 2010. Tier 2 beaches on the
island of Oahu were normally monitored on
a rotating six-month schedule prior to the
staffing reduction. On the islands of Maui,
Hawaii, and Kauai, Tier 1 beaches were
monitored three times a week, and Tier 2
beaches were monitored twice a month in
2010.
Figure 1. Hawaii coastal counties.
	
o-
Kauai
c
Honolulu
Maui
Hawaii
Table 1. Monitored coastal beaches by
island for 2010.
County
Total
Beaches
Monitored
Not
Monitored
HAWAII
82
50
32
HONOLULU
112
27
8:5
KAUAI
64
15
49
MAUI
127
127
73
TOTALS
385
146
239

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2010 Summary Results
How many notification actions were reported
and how long were they?
When water quality standards are exceeded at a
particular beach, Hawaii issues a beach advisory
that warns people to avoid contact with the ocean
water. A total of 20 monitored beaches had a
notification action issued during the 2010 swimming
season. Figure 2 presents a full breakdown of
notification action durations.
What percentage of days were beaches under a
notification action?
For Hawaii's 2010 swimming season, actions were
reported less than one percent of the time (Figure 3).
How do 2010 results compare to previous years?
Table 2 compares 2010 notification action data with
monitored beach data from previous years. The
decrease in the number and percentage of beaches
affected by actions in 2010 is due to the lack of
island-wide rain advisories.
What pollution sources possibly affect
investigated monitored beaches?
Figure 4 displays the percentage of Hawaii's
monitored beaches possibly affected by various
pollution sources. In 2010, nearly 100 percent of the
beaches had no known potential sources.
For More Information
For general information about beaches:
www.epa.gov/beaches/
For information about beaches in Hawaii:
www.hawaii.gov/health/environmental/
water/cleanwater/index.html
Figure 2: Beach notification actions by duration.
20-

19
( 15-

1
c


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41
o


< 10-


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o


o


2 5-



1




0-

	

1 2
3-7
8-30
Duration of Actions (Days)
>30
Figure 3:
Table 2. Beach notification actions, 2008-2010.

2008
2009
2010
Number of monitored
beaches
248
245
146
Number of beaches
affected by notification
actions
7
245
20
Percentage of beaches
affected by notification
actions
3%
100%
14%
Percentage of beach
days affected by
notification actions
<1%
1%
<1%
Figure 4: Percent of investigated monitored beaches
affected by possible pollution sources (146 beaches).
0
Investigated / no sources found
Non-storm related runoff
Storm-related runoff
Agricultural runoff
Boat discharge
Cone, animal feeding operation
Combined sewer overflow
Sanitary sewer overflow
Publicly-owned treatment works
Sewer line leak or break
Septic system leakage
Wildlife
Other (identified) source(s)
Unidentified source(s)
10 20
30
Percent of beaches
40 50 60 70
80 90
100
100
Note: A single beach may
have multiple sources.
Beach days
with no action
53,160
(99.8%)
Beach days with
and without
notification
actions.
Beach days with
an action:
130
(0.2%)

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