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EPA and Texas protect Beaches for Memorial Day Weekend

Release Date: 05/25/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – May 25, 2011) With Memorial Day Weekend right around the corner, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is helping states continue to monitor water quality at beaches by providing funding for beach monitoring. EPA recently awarded Texas $200,913 to improve water quality at beaches.

Texas General Land Office (GLO) is responsible for continuous monitoring of beach waters in Texas. If bacteria levels rise above EPA standards, GLO will notify the public not to swim in the affected water.

The Beach Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act allows EPA to assist beach managers with providing consistent and accurate information about local beach conditions. EPA estimates Americans make 910 million trips to coastal areas each year, spending about $44 billion. A decade ago, state and local monitoring notification programs differed across the country. The BEACH Act is designed to consistently protect and inform the public before swimming in beach waters.

Local governments and the state parks department are responsible for openings and closures of beaches. EPA reminds citizens to practice sun safety by wearing protective shades, a hat and sunscreen when visiting beaches.

Additional information on EPA grants: http://www.epa.gov/region6/gandf/index.htm

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

EPA audio file is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/may2011.html


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