Links & Resources

General resources

Beach Management Protocol
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
The purpose of this protocol is to assist in the prevention and reduction of water-borne illness and injury related to recreational water use at public beaches, and to assist boards of health in the delivery of local, comprehensive public beach management programs.

Blue Flag Program in Canada
Environmental Defence
Blue Flag is a highly respected and recognized international eco-label. Blue Flags are awarded to beaches and marinas that meet strict criteria for water quality, environmental education, environmental management, and safety and services.

Blue Wave Campaign
Clean Beaches Council
Provides an annual list of beaches which have been certified as clean and healthy for the start of the upcoming summer beach season. The beaches on this year's list have met a new, stricter 56-point set of pilot criteria for cleanliness and environmental health, including tough standards for litter.

Great Lakes Beach Association
Great Lakes Commission
The Great Lakes Beach Association (GLBA) is a collaboration of more than 600 local and state beach managers, working together to improve recreational beach water quality through an informal information-sharing forum.

Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality
Health Canada
Prepared by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Recreational Water Quality of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Health and the Environment.

U.S. EPA BEACH Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Program focuses on five areas to meet the goals of improving public health and environmental protection for beach goers and providing the public with information about the quality of their beach water.

Monitoring

GLRI Beach Sanitary Survey Projects
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO)
Multiple projects were funded by GLRI to assess sources of contamination affecting hundreds of Great Lakes beaches. Several of the projects also involve mitigating the contamination sources, including waterfowl management, replacing impervious pavement with permeable materials, and managing wet weather through green infrastructure approaches such as green roofs and rain gardens. EPA is monitoring the progress of these projects, and housing data collected with the sanitary surveys.

Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach™ Program
Alliance for the Great Lakes
Adopt-a-Beach™ is the Alliance for the Great Lakes' premier volunteer program, with some 10,000 annual participants ranging from individuals and families to schools and businesses. Teams conduct litter removal and monitoring, and also complete a beach health assessment form that includes science-based observation and testing.

Testing the Waters Annual Survey
Natural Resources Defense Council
Full text and tables of NRDC's annual survey of water-quality monitoring and public notification programs at U.S. beaches.

Communications

beachnet listserv
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Seeks to facilitate communication and networking between people interested in the improvement of recreational beach water quality in the Great Lakes basin. The forum is sponsored by the Great Lakes Association for Healthy Recreational Waters.

State and Regional Agencies

Illinois BeachGuard
Illinois Department of Public Health, Environmental Health
Monitors public and private beaches for closures and advisories.

Indiana BeachGuard
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Monitors public and private beaches for closures and advisories.

Lake Erie Beach Sampling
Erie County Department of Health, Environmental Health Services

Michigan BeachGuard
Michigan Department of Environmental Equality
Monitors public and private beaches for closures and advisories.

Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring Program
Minnesota Department of Health
The program collects samples from 39 Lake Superior beaches and analyzes those samples for water-borne diseases and human health risks.

New York Health and Safety Outdoors
New York State Department of Health
[online beach database system expected in 2013]

Ohio Beach Guard
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio conducts a monitoring and notification program of selected public and semi-private beaches located along the Ohio/Lake Erie border. BeachGuard provides data on advisories as well as monitoring activity.

Wisconsin Beach Monitoring Program
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
The WDNR offers grant support to communities along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior to monitor beach water for elevated E.coli levels. This information helps the community health officials notify the public so beach visitors can make informed choices about how to use the beach.