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Beach Project Initiative
Progress Report - May 2008
(printer-friendly PDF, 56Kb)


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 Initiative.

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.


Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Photo credit: Copyright © M. Woodbridge Williams

Last updated: May 20, 2008

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