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Above Lincoln City beach access.

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Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden recently announced that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) will receive $215,000 in federal funding to support additional monitoring to help protect Oregonians from possible waterborne diseases at Oregon’s beaches.

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,” said Merkley. “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.”

Senator Merkley is the only member of Oregon’s congressional delegation to serve on an appropriations committee, and has led multiple letters in recent years requesting this funding. The grant is being distributed through the Environmental Protection Agency.

“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.”

ODEQ Director Richard Whitman also spoke about the funding.

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

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