Rehoboth Beach

Be Prepared at the Beach

by Denise Hakowski

Be prepared at the beach with BEACON. Photo credit:    Robert (Gene) E. Shaner,  DNREC.  

Be prepared at the beach with BEACON.
Photo credit:
Robert (Gene) E. Shaner, DNREC.

My beach-loving husband lives by the Boy Scout motto “be prepared.”  On our trips to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, he is always the first one out the door in the morning.  He wheels his well-packed cart to the beach, finds the perfect spot and starts to set up:  two blue and green beach umbrellas, four sand chairs, sunscreen, a cooler, a beach blanket and hand sanitizer. He even checks in with the lifeguards when they arrive for the report on rip currents. Finally, he texts us back at the house (where we are all likely still asleep) with his location and the beach report,  and settles in with his book for the day.

But, before he even puts on his bathing suit, leaves the house, and slaps on his sunscreen, he checks EPA’s beach tool, BEACON.   EPA’s BEACON (Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification) is a national database that contains links to monitoring data and notifications of beach closures or other water quality issues reported by states, territories, and tribes. BEACON shows how often beaches are monitored, and has the ability to easily map the location of over 6,000 beaches covered by the BEACH Act, and their related water quality monitoring stations.

This is a great tool for my husband, because the only thing that makes him happier than a day at the beach is being prepared!

 

About the author: Denise Hakowski is the Beach Program coordinator in the region’s Office of Standards, Assessment and TMDLs.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, at the beach and elsewhere.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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July 4th Rehoboth Beach

By Nancy Stoner

This year, I had the pleasure of celebrating the 4th of July with my family at Rehoboth Beach, Deleware The weather was beautiful, and the beach was alive with children, teenagers, and families of all kinds of backgrounds, speaking all kinds of languages enjoying themselves in the cool, clean water.

I loved watching everyone have a good time body surfing, kayaking, wading, watching the dolphins, and running back and forth with the waves—a favorite activity of the 5-and-under crowd. In this struggling economy, it was also reassuring to see hotels, motels, restaurants, and shops bustling with activity from tourists like me. In fact, beach tourism pumps more than $300 billion into the U.S. economy every year.

For me, what also makes visiting beaches so great is that they are a free resource, available to everyone and easily accessible via train, plane, car, bus, bike, or foot. As a mother and a beach goer, I understand the importance of clean water as a resource that is vital to our communities and our health. That’s why EPA has been working closely with state and local officials to reduce pollution at local beaches. This year alone, the agency has provided nearly $10 million in beach monitoring grants.

Still, we can only continue to protect our beaches if we also protect the upstream waters, including small streams and wetlands, from pollution that would otherwise flow to the beaches. To achieve that goal, on April 27, 2011, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers proposed for public comment, a guidance document that reaffirms protection for critical waters and provides clearer, more predictable guidelines for determining which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act.

This “Waters of the United States” guidance is based on science and makes common sense: Protecting the smallest water sources is the best and most cost-effective way to protect the larger bodies of waters that they flow into.

Do your part to ensure the protection of our waters for future generations: Submit your comments on our draft guidance between now and July 31st. And when you’ve done that, visit the EPA’s beach page for updates on your local beaches so you can enjoy a healthy and safe summer!

For more information on EPA Beach Grants, please visit

About the author: Nancy Stoner is the Acting Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Water and grew up in the flood plain of the South River, a tributary of the Shenandoah River.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.


Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.