Public Invited to Help Guide Beach Monitoring Program

Short Sand Beach in northern Tillamook County, one of the beaches proposed for monitoring.\Photo courtesy of ODFW.
The Oregon Health Authority’s Beach Monitoring Program is the public’s means of learning whether the waters washing our beaches is polluted.  All too often, the water quality testing provided by this program demonstrates that it is.

As the program gears up for the summer, the public is invited to comment on the list of beaches proposed for monitoring this summer.

The OHA Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) works with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to select beaches for monitoring based on 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.

As part of a flexible sampling plan, beaches and sampling locations are routinely re-evaluated to ensure available resources best protect public health. Based on OBMP’s evaluation criteria, the following list contains the proposed beaches for 2021 monitoring season (SP stands for State Park); a copy of DEQ’s beach evaluation is available upon request:

The proposed list includes some of the most frequently visited beaches in Oregon, beaches where the program has found bacteria present, or beaches for which local partners and the public have requested monitoring due to potential pollution concerns.

OHA and DEQ use available resources to monitor as many beaches as possible. However, with more than 360 miles of coastline, more than 90 beaches and just one full-time sampling technician, not all beaches can be monitored.  

OBMP will accept public comments and suggestions on the proposed 2021 beaches through April 26. Contact OBMP by email at [email protected] or call 971-673-0400 to submit input.