EPA awards Massachusetts $254,000 to support water quality monitoring at beaches

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BOSTON – RealEstateRamaThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrated a $254,000 grant to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to protect the health of beachgoers. This funding is part of $9.75 million in grants, announced in June, to help coastal and Great Lakes communities. The funding will support water quality monitoring and public notification programs for beaches.

Standing with partners at King’s Beach in Lynn today, EPA Regional Administrator David Cash highlighted the importance of the funding, especially for vulnerable communities.

“Beach closures and advisories are harsh realities on blistering hot summer days and the continuing concerns at King’s Beach remind us there is more work to be done, ” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “This grant will advance environmental justice in Massachusetts communities vulnerable to and overburdened by water quality impacts by supporting critical monitoring and notification programs. We will continue to work closely with our state, municipal and local partners to deliver information that people need to make good decisions about their health.”

“It’s simple—on summer days, people deserve clean, safe beaches to swim in,” said Senator Edward J. Markey. “The funding announced today will ensure that real time monitoring data can inform the community when it is safe to swim. This is a positive step as we continue to work together to ensure King’s Beach will remain open for recreation—because access to beautiful and swimmable Massachusetts beaches shouldn’t be determined by your ZIP code.”

“For too long, beachgoers risked exposure to unsafe bacteria levels when swimming at King’s Beach on a hot summer day,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. “This EPA funding will allow us to better monitor water quality and represents a first step towards transforming King’s Beach into a clean, safe beach for the people of Lynn.”

“As we continue our collaborative efforts to make King’s Beach safe and swimmable, we must make every effort to communicate effectively with our residents,” said State Senator Brendan Crighton. “Thank you to our federal partners and all stakeholders whose efforts helped secure this critical funding that will have an important impact on the wellness of our residents and beaches.”

“From a public health and communication standpoint, we appreciate the testing and notification that this grant will fund,” said Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson. “From a recreational and environmental justice standpoint, the water quality issues at King’s Beach need to be resolved so that individuals and families can enjoy the refreshing waters every warm day. I’m grateful that the EPA, DEP, EEA, LWSC, and the Town of Swampscott along with our State and Federal Delegation remain committed to working with us to find a permanent solution in order to ensure Lynn’s residents have the access to the Atlantic Ocean that they so deserve.”

This grant helps fund programs to ensure beachgoers know when our coastal waters are safe for swimming and recreation.

Under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act, EPA awards grants to eligible state, Tribal, and territorial applicants to help them and their local government partners monitor water quality at coastal and Great Lakes beaches. When bacteria levels are too high for safe swimming, these agencies or their local partners notify the public and post beach advisories or closings.

Since 2001, EPA has awarded nearly $230 million in BEACH Act grants, with about $6 million to Massachusetts and over $26 million to New England, to test beach waters for illness-causing bacteria and help with public notification and identification of the problem. This program is essential for protecting the health of beachgoers across the country.

“Protecting our beaches is truly a team effort,” said MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple. “The monitoring supported by this grant arms residents with information they can use to determine when and where to swim. And understanding where water quality is challenged allows us to focus action and investment to improve public health and the health of our ecosystems.”

EPA’s 2024 BEACH Act grant funding will be allocated to the following New England states, Tribes, and territories contingent upon their meeting the eligibility requirements:

EPA Region 1
Connecticut Department of Public Health – $206,000
Maine Department of Environmental Protection – $254,000
Massachusetts Department of Public Health – $254,000
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services – $194,000
Rhode Island Department of Health – $210,000

More information on BEACH Act grants.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Interactive Beach Water Quality Dashboard

Contact Information
Jo Anne Kittrell ()
(857) 262-3789

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