At the 24th annual opening of the beaches in Wildwood, N.J., U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman announced a grant of $285,719 to help protect public health at the New Jersey shore. She also announced that EPA is making $10 million in grants available to help 35 states and territories monitor coastal waters and advise beach-goers when adverse water quality conditions may affect their health.
EPA estimates that Americans make 910 million trips to coastal areas each year, spending about $44 billion. The BEACH Act of 2000 authorizes EPA to award grants to eligible states, tribes and territories to develop and implement beach water quality monitoring programs near coastal and Great Lakes recreational beach waters. This is the second year EPA has awarded these types of grants.