Oregon Gets $215,000: Wave of cash to be used to monitor beach water

A wave of cold, hard cash is heading to Oregon to protect the public from possible waterborne diseases at Oregon’s beaches.

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) will receive $215,000 in federal funding for the monitoring efforts.

The grant will fund the collection and testing of water samples from designated recreational beaches in Oregon. The water will be tested for bacteriological water quality, and the public will be notified if and when the waters meet water quality standards and are safe for swimming and recreating.

“Families have been making memories at Oregon’s beaches and shores for generations,” Merkley said. “I’m pleased that this grant funding is making its way to our state so we can monitor the quality of our waters, promote safety, and support this special Oregon tradition.”

“Our state’s world-renowned beaches are synonymous with great recreation and a fun getaway for Oregonians and tourists alike,” Wyden said. “These federal resources to support water monitoring will help ensure all those activities and more continue in a safe environment for beach-lovers of all ages.”

The grant is being distributed through the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

“Oregon’s beaches are some of the most beautiful and rugged in the world,” ODEQ Director Richard Whitman said. “This grant funding will help assure that our coasts continue to be and healthy places to visit and enjoy,” ODEQ Director Richard Whitman said.

Merkley is the only member of Oregon’s congressional delegation to serve on an appropriations committee, and he said he has led multiple letters in recent years requesting funding for the monitoring.