OCEAN CITY, Md. (June 25, 2008) The Maryland Department of the Environments Science Services Administration launched a new website today at the Maryland Municipal Leagues annual conference. The website, http://www.marylandhealthybeaches.com
, provides information on healthy beach habits, for the safety of both beachgoers and the environment.
Maryland has over 200 beaches, and the beach season stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The MDE says the purpose of the website is to educate people about how to stay safe and keep Maryland beaches clean. Tips include taking all trash offsite in a bag, not swimming within 48 hours of a heavy rain event, and proper disposal of diapers. The website also includes questions about advisories and what causes them. There are also links to other helpful websites, including Beaches911, where you can check the advisory status for each beach in the state.
MDEs Beaches Program monitors activities statewide concerning environmental issues at beaches. County health departments monitor water quality and determine whether an advisory is needed. Water samples are collected weekly, every other week, or monthly, depending on various risk factors for pollution at that beach.
Robert Summers, MDEs Deputy Secretary, said the Beaches Program is essential to ensure families can enjoy the beaches without worry and to protect our beaches for future generations.
This new website has been a collaborative effort between MDE, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and county health departments from around the state. The project was made possible by a grant from the EPA, provided through the BEACH Act of 2000 (Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act). The BEACH Act also provides funding to local health departments for monitoring water quality at tidal beaches.