Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Program
The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Program (BEACH) focuses on the following 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: strengthening beach standards and testing; providing faster laboratory test methods; predicting pollution; investing in health and methods research; and informing the public. States and other entities participating in the BEACH program are required to monitor their coastal beaches for bacteria that indicate the possible presence of disease-causing pathogens and notify the public when there is a potential threat to public health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains an electronic database of these monitoring and threat notification data.
http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/beaches_index.cfm and related web pages.