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Beach Grants

EPA awards grants under authority of the BEACH Act to eligible states, territories, and tribes with beaches on ocean and Great Lakes coasts to develop and implement programs to monitor their beaches and notify the public when it is not safe to swim. During each swimming season, state and local health and environmental protection agencies monitor the quality of water at the nation’s beaches. When bacteria levels in the water are too high, these agencies notify the public by posting beach warnings or closing the beach. The grants help local authorities monitor beach water quality and notify the public of conditions that may be unsafe for swimming.

Three factors influence the grant allocations: (1) the length of the beach season, (2) the number of miles of shoreline, and (3) the populations of coastal counties. EPA initially announced the formula for calculating grant allocations in the Federal Register on March 31, 2003 (refer to 68 FR 15446) and published a supplemental allocation formula on January 11, 2010 (refer to 75 FR 1373).

EPA has awarded nearly $186 million in grants for the beach monitoring and notification programs since it started awarding grants in 2001. In 2020, awarded $9.2 million to eligible grantees. There are currently 30 states, 5 territories, and 4 tribes that are eligible to apply for beach grant funds.

Fiscal Year Grant Total
2020 $9,238,000
2019 $9,238,000
2018 $9,331,000
2017 $9,786,256
For a breakdown of how the grants were allocated among states, territories, and tribes and the required performance criteria, refer to:

Additional Information

  • Data Reporting Requirements under Beach Act grants
  • Information Collection Request: Every two years, EPA updates the reporting requirements for the BEACH Act Grants Information Collection Request (ICR). As a grant condition, grant recipients are required to collect and submit beach monitoring and notification information to EPA. Collection of this information allows EPA to evaluate the extent to which grant recipients fulfill the requirements of the BEACH Act.
  • Contacts for EPA, state, tribe and territory beach programs
  • OIG Report: This report by EPA’s Office of Inspector General evaluates how EPA grants provided under the BEACH Act assist states, territories and tribes in monitoring the water quality of coastal recreation waters and notifying the public of contamination events.

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