A sunny day attracts a crowd to the beach at Howarth Park in Everett. (Lizz Giordiano / Herald file)

A sunny day attracts a crowd to the beach at Howarth Park in Everett. (Lizz Giordiano / Herald file)

EPA awards grants for water monitoring along Western coasts

The focus will be on fecal bacteria, public notification systems and pollution sources.

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be awarding $723,000 in grants to monitor beach water quality and set up public notification programs in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, officials announced Monday.

The programs will also be carried out by the Makah and Swinomish tribes, the EPA said in a press release.

“Strong partnerships are essential to protecting public health and the environment,” said EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With this funding, EPA’s partners can improve water quality monitoring efforts to better protect health and wellness.”

The funds will be used to monitor beaches for fecal bacteria, maintain and operate public notification systems, identify local pollution sources, and report results of monitoring and notification activities to EPA and the public, officials said.

When elevated levels of bacteria are detected, the funding will support beach warning or beach closing notifications to protect public health.

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