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Water: Beaches

National List of Beaches

EPA has published a list of discrete coastal recreation waters adjacent to beaches (or similar points of access) used by the public in the U.S.  The list, required by the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act), identifies waters that are subject to a state beach water quality monitoring and public notification program consistent with the National Beach Guidance and Required Performance Criteria for BEACH Act Grants.

Prior to the 2011 swimming season, EPA published the National List of Beaches periodically, as a static PDF file. Starting with the 2011 swimming season, the list is available in a dynamic format that links to EPA’s Beach Advisory and Closing On-line Notification (BEACON) system where further details about each beach can also be found.  The list contains the most recent information reported to EPA by coastal and Great Lakes states, territories, and eligible tribes.

The list provides a national baseline of the extent of state, territorial and tribal beach monitoring across the country. It helps EPA measure improvements in monitoring and notification at all coastal and Great Lakes beaches and determine how to better implement the BEACH Act.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

How to View the Lists of Beaches and Other Beach Details

Number of BEACH Act Beaches Reported

To access a National List of Beaches report, select "Current list of beaches" or select an historic swimming season from the drop-down menu. Reports for the 2004, 2008 and 2010 swimming seasons are static PDF files. Starting with the 2011 swimming season, the reports are dynamically created. The “current” list shows the most recent information reported to EPA by the states, tribes and territories that are subject to the BEACH Act.

Each list is primarily organized by state and county. For some territories and Hawaii, the beaches are listed by island. Alaska's beaches are reported by community. Tribal beaches are listed by name. Beach names are listed with their monitoring status for the selected swimming season. We include only coastal and Great Lakes beaches in these lists. The lists do not include beaches on inland waters because they are not subject to the BEACH Act.

For the dynamic reports, the “Number of BEACH Act Beaches Reported” section is populated with national summary data. To view details for a state, tribe, or territory, click the name of the desired jurisdiction. The jurisdiction reports provide the list of beaches for the selected jurisdiction. Clicking a beach name in a jurisdiction report will guide you to a map view of the selected beach. That view shows the extent of the beach, provides the most recent advisory or closure status and water quality monitoring data that the state has reported, and links to the state's website for the most up-to-date information. Those beach views, a national map of BEACH Act jurisdictions and 12 standard reports with information about water quality monitoring events and results, advisory and closure durations, and pollution sources are available in BEACON.

How did EPA get this information?

States, territories and tribes provide to EPA monitoring and notification data for each swimming season no later than January 31 of the following year. Many jurisdictions report data more frequently. EPA updates the List of Beaches as we receive new information.

How do I find more information about beaches in my state?

EPA’s list of state, territorial and tribal beach program contacts

Each state's list also identifies the contact person from whom you can get more information.

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