The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (GLRC) identifies coastal
health as a challenge recognizing the significance of beaches to the
economic well-being, health and quality of life of the region's
citizens. Contamination leading to beach advisories and threats to
public health continues to be a concern in the Basin. The GLRC calls for
identification of sources of contamination and remediation. The use of
tools like sanitary surveys is a way to achieve these goals.
Interagency cooperation is essential for creating and improving the use
of sanitary surveys and beach forecasting models. Several federal,
state, local and tribal partners who work together in the Great Lakes
Beach Association are taking part in such efforts. The GLRC will
increase this cooperation and further the objectives of the GLRC
Strategy by supporting and encouraging the use of sanitary surveys and
education on predictive modeling throughout the region. This support and
encouragement will take the form of a targeted campaign focused on the
standard sanitary survey tool (piloted during the summer of 2007) as
well as education on predictive modeling.
In response to data collected from the Great Lakes states which found
that 90% of their beach advisories and closings were from unknown
sources, U.S. EPA and federal, state and local beach program partners
developed standardized beach sanitary survey forms in 2007. These forms
assist beach managers with a consistent approach to identify pollution
sources, share information, and plan source remediation. The forms were
successfully piloted by 61 Great Lakes beaches during the 2007 beach
season, through EPA funding. To encourage increased use of this valuable
tool, the GLRC Beach Project Initiative is launching a Clean Beaches
The GLRC Clean Beaches Initiative is focused on broadening the use of
these standard sanitary survey forms throughout the Great Lakes region.
Beach managers, cities, tribes, and citizen volunteers are encouraged to
use the standard sanitary survey forms and take this first critical step
towards ensuring clean and safe beaches.
- On Memorial Day 2008, the GLRC Clean Beaches Initiative will
launch an outreach effort to encourage increased use of sanitary
survey forms for tracking down sources of pollution causing beach
closings and will provide information on other beach monitoring and
management resources through the GLRC Website.