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Water: Beaches

Beach Monitoring & Notification: Related Links

There are several things that you can do to help improve the quality of water at the beach. For example, you can learn more about your local beach, you can help reduce pollutants that can wash into the water, and you can find out what state or local agencies are responsible for protecting the quality of the water at your beach. Even if you don't live at or near the beach, you can still protect the water quality by learning how pollution in your local stream or watershed affects water quality at downstream beaches.

Get Involved

  • Protect Coastal Watersheds and Ocean Resources
    Discover EPA programs that protect coastal watersheds and ocean resources. Learn how you can get involved in protecting your watershed.
  • Beach Protection and Clean Up Programs
    There are many ways to protect the nation's beaches from water pollution. Local clean up efforts are a great way to assist federal, state, and local officials in protecting your health while swimming at the beach.
  • Protect Coastal Waters from Nonpoint Source Pollution
    When rain falls or snow melts, the seemingly negligible amounts of chemicals and other pollutants around your home and lawn get picked up and carried through storm drains to the local waterway. This site lists specific "dos" and "don'ts" that will help you reduce nonpoint source pollution.
  • EPA's Citizen's Voluntary Monitoring Program
    Across the country, people are learning about water quality issues and helping protect the nation's water resources by becoming volunteer water quality monitors. Volunteers analyze water samples for dissolved oxygen, nutrients, pH, and temperature; evaluate the health of stream habitats and aquatic biological communities; inventory streambank conditions and land uses that may affect water quality; catalog and collect beach debris; and restore degraded habitats.
  • Surf Your Watershed
    Most beach water is polluted from pollution-generating activities upstream. It is important for you to know about pollutants entering the water from other communities. Surf Your Watershed will help you learn about pollutants and sources that affect the water quality in your local watershed.
  • Adopt-Your-Watershed
    Waterhsed groups are very effective in identifying and stopping pollution problems by working through a local watershed group. Join our national catalog of organizations involved in protecting local water bodies, including formal watershed alliances, local groups, and schools that conduct activities such as volunteer monitoring, cleanups, and restoration projects.

Beach Water Quality Information

Other EPA Water Quality Protection Programs

  • New England Beaches and Coasts
    EPA Region 1 (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT & 9 Tribal Nations) promotes high quality monitoring and assessment methods and new technologies. The Region also shares information among beach managers, while involving the public and communities in education, monitoring and advocacy.
  • Great Lakes National Program
    The EPA Great Lakes National Program oversees activities to restore and maintain the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. This site provides information on the water quality of the Great Lakes and has a collection of photographs of beaches around the Great Lakes.
  • Chesapeake Bay Program
    Throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed there are many bathing beaches and recreational areas. The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that directs and conducts the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. This site describes the Chesapeake Bay Program and provides information on the health of the Bay and its ecosystem.
  • National Estuary Program
    In 1987, Congress established the National Estuary Program (NEP) as part of the Clean Water Act. The NEP's mission is to protect and restore the health of estuaries while supporting economic and recreational activities. This site lists the NEPs by region so you can easily find information about estuary protection programs in your area.
  • Environmental Monitoring for Public Accessand Community Tracking (EMPACT) Program
    The EMPACT program was an approach to working with communities to make timely, accurate, and understandable environmental information available in the largest US metropolitan areas. This information helps communities and individuals make informed day-to-day decisions about health and the environment.
  • EPA Regional Offices
    There are ten EPA Regional Offices that work with state, tribal, and local governmental agencies to carry out national water quality protection programs. Information about local water quality can be found on each of these websites. In each regional office is a Regional Beach Coordinator that you may contact if you would like additional information on the BEACH Program.

State and Local Water Quality Protection Programs

All links exit EPA Exit EPA Disclaimer . Additional links to State Beach Programs can be found in our 2006 Seasonal Summary.

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