WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced a new $228,000 federal grant to support beach water-quality monitoring and public notification efforts in Rhode Island.

Previous Administrations sought to eliminate the beach water testing program that helps Rhode Island and other coastal states monitor coastal waters throughout the summer to keep beachgoers safe.  But Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, successfully delivered funding to keep the program going.

This year, Reed welcomed over $10.6 million in Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act grant funding to help monitor beaches nationwide.

As a result of Senator Reed’s efforts, Rhode Island is being awarded a $228,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help health officials conduct beach water quality monitoring and alert beachgoers when conditions are unsafe.

“Clean, safe beaches are essential to our economy and public health, and water-quality monitoring is crucial to keeping beaches clean and accessible.  I helped support, pass, and fund the BEACH Act because it helps local communities team up to protect swimmers, our waters, and our tourism and recreation industries,” said Senator Reed.  “These federal funds will help Rhode Island actively monitor our water quality to ensure it is safe and clean and keep the public informed.  Testing water quality, collecting data, and publicly releasing the results keeps the government accountable for maintaining good water quality.  The sampling program ensures people are informed when temporary beach closures are warranted, and it’s a smart investment in protecting public health and the health of our waterways.”

Over the last decade, Senator Reed has delivered more than $2.2 million in BEACH grant funding for Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s coastal beach-water quality monitoring program is managed by the Rhode Island Department of Health and works closely with DEM, cities, town, and volunteer groups. 

During beach season, beach monitors routinely test water quality and provide up-to-date information for beachgoers at: http://www.health.ri.gov/beaches.  Beachgoers may also get the latest beach closure information through a recorded message on the Department of Health Beaches Telephone Line at: (401) 222-2751.

Swimming in polluted water can cause illness, skin rashes, and other infections.

To learn more about EPA’s efforts to keep America’s beaches clean, visit: https://www.epa.gov/beaches/act-beach