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Bush Administration Commits $10 Million to Protect the Nation's Beaches
Release Date: 04/29/2004
Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824 / email@example.com
(Washington, D.C. - April 29, 2004) Today, the Bush Administration announced nearly $10 million in grants available for beach monitoring and notification programs to eligible coastal states, territories, including those bordering the Great Lakes and tribes to help meet the new requirements under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000. This is the fourth year in a row that this money is being made available totaling about $32 million since the BEACH ACT passed in October 2000. The funding is an integral part of the Administration's overall Clean Beach Plan.
"These grants help protect public health at America's beaches," said Administrator Mike Leavitt. "The money we are making available today will go a long way to helping states in expanding their water quality monitoring and information programs that alert the public about potential health-related problems in coastal recreational waters."
Money is available to eligible coastal states and territories based on the length of beach season, the miles of beach and the number of people who use that beach. In addition, money will be made available to eligible Indian tribes who apply.
These funds are designed to ensure that the public receives better protection when traveling to various beaches across the country. EPA estimates that Americans take a total of 910 million trips to coastal areas each year and spend about $44 million at those beach locations. If all 35 eligible coastal states and territories apply and meet the performance criteria, the distribution of the funds for 2004 is expected to be:
The year 2004 allocations are:
American Samoa ($302,260.00)
New Hampshire ($204,770.00)
New Jersey ($281,680.00)
New York ($356,240.00)
North Carolina ($305,280.00)
Northern Mariana ($303,510.00)
Puerto Rico ($329,900.00)
Rhode Island ($213,290.00)
South Carolina ($299,140.00)
U.S. Virgin Islands ($303,350.00)
The BEACH Act of 2000 requires coastal states, and territories, to adopt up-to-date pathogen criteria to protect beach goers from harmful bacteria. Information about the grant money being made available and the Clean Beaches Plan as well as related documents is available at: http://www.epa.gov/beaches .