by Denise Hakowski
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.