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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 10, 2000


Today, I am pleased to sign the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act, which significantly strengthens efforts to make America's beaches clean, safe and healthy.

America's coasts are not only a natural treasure -- they are also the number one destination for vacationing families, making their health vital to our nation's tourism industry. Yet each year, pollution forces thousands of beach closures or health advisories. The Beach Act will ensure that in the future fewer families arrive at the beach only to discover that it is too polluted for fishing or swimming. It requires states to adopt enforceable standards for water quality, regularly test coastal waters for health-threatening pollution, and notify the public of unsafe conditions. In addition, it provides assistance to states to carry out these efforts.

This Act builds on my Administration's strong efforts to ensure healthier beaches and cleaner coastal waters, greater protection for endangered and threatened marine species, sound fisheries management, and support for marine protected areas. I urge Congress to fully fund ocean and coastal conservation programs for the coming fiscal year so that communities around the country may enjoy healthy beaches and clean waters for years to come.