Dune restauration. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care
Excerpt; by John Senn, EPA
With the beginning of the beach season, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is again undertaking a beach and harbor protection program to safeguard beaches and bays in New Jersey and New York and protect the health of the people who enjoy them.
EPA’s program includes helicopter surveillance for floating debris, water quality sampling and grants to support state beach protection programs. The summer monitoring program kicked off on Saturday, May 28 with helicopter flights searching for floating debris in the New York/New Jersey Harbor.
“EPA is on the job every summer sampling water quality to make sure that beachgoers can enjoy the water without worry,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Our efforts also ensure that floating debris is found and removed from the water before it can make its way onto a beach where it could affect people’s health and damage wildlife.”
Working together with other federal, state and local agencies, EPA’s program operates seven days a week. This comprehensive, science-based beach and coastal water program has many components, including shellfish bed water quality monitoring, and grants to states to help with their beach monitoring and public notification programs. As they do every summer, EPA scientists will fly over the New York/New Jersey Harbor in a helicopter, searching for floating debris. The helicopter will also be used to collect water samples near shellfish beds and along the New Jersey coast for phytoplankton analysis, and take samples for bacteriological analysis around Long Island to support New Jersey’s and New York’s shellfish protection program…