EPA To Award $250,000 For Beach Water Quality Monitoring

Photo by Chris Lundy

NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection expects to receive up to $250,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to monitor its 185 ocean beaches and 21 bay and estuary beaches.

“New Jersey’s beaches play a significant role in the state’s environmental, economic, and cultural prosperity, bringing in thousands of tourists every summer,” Regional Administrator Pete Lopez said. “This grant supports the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s vital program to alert New Jersey residents and tourists alike when water quality problems exist.”

The money will used during the 2019 swimming season and help protect beaches in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties, as well as bay areas in Barnegat Bay, Little Egg Harbor, Great Egg Harbor and Great Bay.

“Enjoying the beach is a quintessential pastime for Americans every summer,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. “Through EPA’s BEACH grants, we are ensuring communities across the country can keep their beaches safe and enjoyable for all.”

The EPA grants awards under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act, which helps local governments monitor water quality to ensure safe swimming. High bacteria levels often force beach shut downs until the levels are within safe limits. More than $157 million in grants have been awarded since 2002, and help local bodies monitor beaches for fecal-borne bacteria, operate public notification systems, find local pollution sources, and report results those results to the EPA.

As of press time, all beaches in Ocean and Monmouth counties regularly open this time of year are open for guests.