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The California Water Boards' Annual Performance Report - Fiscal Year 2008-09
PLAN AND ASSESS: COASTAL BEACHES
|NUMBER BEACHES MONITORED
MONITORING EVENTS DURING SWIM SEASON
MONITORING EVENTS DURING OFF SEASON
|California coastal beaches are monitored regularly and frequently.
|KEY STATISTICS FOR FY 2008-09
|Number of Beaches Monitored
WHAT THE MEASURE IS SHOWING
Although not all beaches are monitored every year, high use beaches are monitored regularly. Almost 15,000 monitoring events were conducted in FY 2008-09 during the swim season. A greater number of monitoring events is conducted in the southern California regions, mostly due to higher use and the longer swim season.
WHY THIS MEASURE IS IMPORTANT
California has some of the most popular beaches in the country. Over 150 million day visits are generated annually by tourists and residents to swim, wade, surf, and dive. Beach visitors spend over $10 billion each year in California. Beach water quality monitoring and strong pollution prevention measures are critical for protecting beach goers from waterborne diseases (Beach Regulation and Guidance). Through the Clean Beaches Initiative and other efforts, California has the most extensive and comprehensive monitoring and regulatory program for beaches in the nation. This measure demonstrates the level of monitoring performed by county health agencies in seventeen different coastal and San Francisco Bay Area counties. Monitoring is also conducted by publicly owned sewage treatment plants, other dischargers along the coastal zone, environmental groups and numerous citizen-monitoring groups (for more background information).
- Data Source: Beach Watch Database. Period: July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. Extracted on June 2009.
- Unit of Measure: Number of beaches (number), monitoring events (number).
- Data Definitions Number of beaches: The count of beaches as determined in the Beach Watch database. Number of Beaches Monitored: Beaches that were monitored at least once during fiscal year 08-09.
- References: More information on the Beach program is available at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/beaches/
- Public reports and data are available at BEACH WATCH database: http://beachwatch.waterboards.ca.gov/BeachWatch/index.jsp
- Clean Beaches Initiative
- In addition to monitoring our coastal water quality, California is committed to improving and protecting beaches along its coast. California has invested $100 million in Clean Beach Initiative grants to fund local projects that reduce bacterial contamination along the coast. The State has also funded research to development more rapid detection methods for knowing when to post beaches, tracking the sources of contamination, and studies to better understand the relationship between bacterial indicators and incidence of disease.