Public Input is Sought for Oregon’s Beach Monitoring Program’s 2019 Sampling Season by May 17.

The Oregon Health Authority’s Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) works with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to determine beaches that need monitoring based on several established criteria. These criteria include: pollution hazards present; previous beach monitoring data that identify water quality concerns; type and amount of beach use; and public input. Surfrider Foundation Chapters in Oregon were a huge part of advocating for the establishment of this program both at the state and federal level, cause who wants to get sick at the beach!

A surfer at Short Sands shouldn’t have to worry about getting sick at the beach!

As part of an adaptive sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. If you’ve been following our federal efforts over the past 8 years, you understand that these resources are constantly under threat, through defunding the federal BEACH Act! While Surfrider helped hold the line with federal funding for Oregon (and the rest of the US) in the 2019 budget, it’s back on the chopping block again with some other serious funding threats to NOAA and EPA programs – more on that here. This constant funding threat and the limitation of resources for OBMP is yet another reason why our Surfrider Chapters partner to sample many of these beaches year round through our Blue Water Task Force Program.

Based on OBMP’s evaluation criteria, the following list contains the proposed beaches for 2019 monitoring season. A copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request:

Seaside Beach, Clatsop County
Cannon Beach, Clatsop County
Tolovana State Park Beach, Clatsop County
Short Sand State Park Beach, Tillamook County
Rockaway Beach, Tillamook County
Twins Rocks Beach, Tillamook County
Neskowin State Park Beach, Tillamook County
D River State Park Beach, Lincoln County
Beverly Beach, Lincoln County
Agate State Park Beach, Lincoln County
• Nye Beach, Lincoln County
Seal Rock State Park Beach, Lincoln County
Heceta Beach, Lane County
Bastendorff Beach, Coos County
Sunset Bay State Park Beach, Coos County
Hubbard Creek Beach, Curry County
Harris Beach State Park, Curry County
Mill Beach, Curry County

The proposed list includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon, as well as beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners (like our Surfrider Chapters!) and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns – so this is your chance to pipe up for your local beach! 

OBMP will accept public comments and suggestions on the proposed 2019 beaches through May 17, 2019. Contact OBMP by email at Beach.Health@state.or.us or call 971-673-0400 to submit input.