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President Clinton today signed new legislation to strengthen protection for America's beaches and coasts by requiring states to adopt coastal water quality standards and notify the public when they are not being met. America's coasts are the number one family vacation destination, and these new protections will ensure that fewer families arrive at the beach only to discover that it is not safe to go in the water. The legislation, which builds on the Administration's strong record of protecting and conserving America's coasts and oceans, also provides assistance to states to carry out these new efforts. The President also urged Congress to fully fund his requests for ocean and coastal conservation programs.
Ensuring a Healthy Trip to the Beach. The President signed the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act. The act aims to improve the health of America's beaches and give visitors the assurance that trips to the beach will be healthy ones. The Beach Act amends the Clean Water Act to accomplish the following:
Only a few states currently comprehensively test their beaches and notify their citizens when they are unsafe, and last year coastal states issued thousands of beach closures and advisories. The Beach Act calls on states to adopt minimum standards for beach water quality, regularly test beaches for pathogens, and notify the public of unsafe conditions. The act also includes a $30 million authorization through 2005 to assist states in developing and implementing monitoring plans.
Safeguarding Our Oceans and Coasts. The Clinton-Gore Administration continues to work for healthier beaches and cleaner coastal waters, greater protection for endangered and threatened marine species, sound fisheries management, and support for marine protected areas. To better address long-term challenges, the President and Vice President launched the Clean Water Action Plan, and a national dialogue leading to a comprehensive strategy for strengthening federal ocean policy for the 21st century.
The President urged Congress to fully fund his requests for ocean and coastal conservation programs so that communities around the country may enjoy healthy beaches and clean waters for years to come.
What's New Archives: 1994-1996
Presidential Webcast: Meeting the Challenge of Global Warming
President Clinton Joins International Religious and Domestic Aids Policy Leaders to Mark World Aids Day
Urging Congress to Keep its Commitment and Complete this Year's Education Budget
To Implement Title V of the Trade and Development Act of 2000 and to Modify the Generalized System of Preferences
Preserving America's Coral Reefs
Human Rights Day: The Eleanor Roosevelt Award and The Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Clinton Launches New Effort to Increase Immunization Rates Among Children
President Clinton and Vice President Gore: Restoring an American Natural Treasure
Progress in Efforts to Combat International Crime
President Clinton's New Markets Initiative: Revitalizing America's Underserved Communities
President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Congressional Democrats Win a Landmark Budget
Announcing Welfare Reform Achievements and Budget Wins for America's Families
President Clinton Issues Strong New Consumer Protections to Ensure the Privacy of Medical Records
Enacting a Budget that Invests in Education, Health Care, and America'
President Clinton Appoints Roger Gregory to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
President Clinton Announces New Steps to Improve Nutrition and Education for Children in Developing Countries
The United States on Track to Pay Off the Debt by End of the Decade
President Clinton: Strengthening the Federal Government-University Research Partnership
Keeping the Heat and Lights On During Unusually Cold Weather
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