The Clean Coastal Environment & Public Health (CCEPH) Act of 2011, a bipartisan bill aimed at re-authorizing the BEACH Act, was introduced into the Senate earlier this Fall. The BEACH Act of 2000 requires every coastal state to adopt water quality standards, conduct water testing, and establish monitoring and public notification programs to keep the public safe at beaches. Thanks to funding through the BEACH Act legislation, the number of beaches monitored has greatly increased from about 1,000 in 1997 to 3,800 in 2009. The new CCEPH Act will strengthen the BEACH Act by requiring quicker water testing and improved monitoring and public notification programs.
A survey conducted by NRDC revealed that three-quarters of beach closures and advisories in 2010 were due to high levels of bacteria found in beachwater. Health conditions caused by polluted beach water include skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis and hepatitis. Inadequate sewage treatment systems and contaminated storm water are the most common sources of polluted beachwater. Support the Clean Coastal Environment & Public Health Act to keep beachwater safe for the public!