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ERA'S BEACH Report:
Louisiana 2006 Swimming Season
June 2007
Introduction
The BEACH Act of 2000 requires that coastal
and Great Lakes states and territories
report beach water quality monitoring and
notification data for their coastal recreation
waters to EPA. 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.
Louisiana's BEACH Program was initiated
as a pilot program in 2004, monitoring
six sample stations at three state parks. In
2005,	the Louisiana Department of Health
and Hospitals (LDHH), with its partners,
expanded the Program from the 2004 pilot to
near full implementation, monitoring 26 of the
28 sample locations identified for monitoring.
However, in August 2005, the monitoring
program was terminated due to Hurricane
Katrina, which directly impacted all
monitored sites on the eastern half of the state
and the program overall. After the hurricane,
those beaches were either inaccessible or
debris covered and recreational use was
non-existent. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina,
beach sites on the western half of the state
were directly impacted by Hurricane Rita,
rendering the remaining beaches inaccessible
for the balance of the 2005 swimming
season. Because of the lingering impacts of
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on recreational
beach use during 2006,18 of 28 sample sites
were reassigned to a lower monitoring Tier
for the 2006 monitoring season. During
2006,	beach signs destroyed by Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita were replaced, the capacity
to process BEACH program water quality
samples was re-established, and all accessible
beaches were monitored throughout the
swimming season.
Figure 1. Louisiana coastal counties with
2006 monitored beach data.
St. Tammany
Jefferson
Calcasieu
St. Mary
Cameron
LaFourche
Table 1. Breakdown of monitored and
unmonitored coastal beaches by
county.
County
Total
Beaches
Monitored
Not
Monitored
CALCASIEU
2
0
2
CAMERON
13
13
0
JEFFERSON
7
7
0
LAFOURCHE
4
0
4
ST. MARY
1
1
0
SI TAMMANY
1
1
0
TOTALS
28
22
6
This fact sheet summarizes beach monitoring
and notification data submitted to EPA by

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2006 Summary Results
How many beaches had notification
actions?
When monitoring of water quality at
beaches shows that levels of certain
bacteria exceed standards, Louisiana's
beach managers issue an advisory,
the monitoring/advisory sign at the
sample site is opened to display the
advisory warning, a press release is
issued, and notice of the advisory is
placed on the OPH BEACH Web site
(www.ophbeachmonitoring.com) and
the Earth 911 Web site (www.earth911.
org/WaterQuality/). Of the 22 coastal
beaches that were monitored in 2006,1, or
5 percent, had at least one advisory during
the 2006 season (Figure 2).
How many notification actions were
reported and how long were they?
One beach notification action was reported
during the 2006 swimming season. The
action lasted between 3 and 7 days. Figure
3 presents breakdowns of action durations.
What percentage of days were beaches
under a notification action?
For Louisiana's 2006 swimming season,
EPA determined there were a total of
4,048 beach days associated with the 22
monitored beaches. Actions were reported
on 5 of those days or about 0.1 percent of
the time (Figure 4).
How do 2006 results compare to
previous years?
Beginning in 2003, states are required to
submit data to EPA under the BEACH Act
for beaches which are in coastal and Great
Lakes waters. Table 2 compares 2006 data
with data reported in previous years.
For More Information
For general information about beaches:
www.epa.gov/beaches/
For information about beaches in
Louisiana:
www.ophbeachmonitoring.com
Figure 2: Monitored
Beaches
with and
without
notification
actions.
Monitored
beaches with
actions: 1
(5%)
Monitored
beaches without
actions: 21
(95%)
Figure 3: Beach notification actions by duration.
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
Figure 4:
1 - 2	3-7	8 - 30
Duration of Actions (days)
Beach days with
and without
notification
actions.
Beach days
with an action:
5
(0.1%)
>30
Beach days with
no action
4,043
(99.9%)
Table 2.
Beach notification actions,
2004-2006.

2004
2005
2006
Number of
monitored beaches
6
26
22
Number of beaches
affected by
notification actions
6
22
1
Percentage of
beaches affected by
notification actions
100%
85%
5%

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