Policy Solutions

All Policy Documents Tagged beaches

Seizing a Watershed Opportunity in the Chesapeake Bay
NRDC’s Plan to Clean Up the Chesapeake Bay and Its Beaches
Issue Paper
As the largest estuary in the United States, and the third largest in the world, the Chesapeake Bay is home to a wide range of wildlife and an important resource for millions of people who live, play, and work in the region. On the heels of reports from seven federal agencies commissioned by President Obama to clean up this national treasure, this paper delves into the sources of pollution that undermine the health of the Bay and provides recommendations for mitigating them.
Sources of Beachwater Pollution
Fact Sheet
Most beach closings and advisories are issued because beachwater monitoring has detected bacteria that indicate the presence of pathogens -- microscopic organisms from human and animal wastes that pose a threat to human health. The key known contributors of these contaminants are stormwater runoff, untreated or partially treated discharges from sewage treatment systems, discharges from sanitary sewers and septic systems, and wildlife. Get document in pdf.
The Impacts of Beach Pollution
Fact Sheet
Polluted beachwater makes swimmers sick and hurts coastal economies. Illnesses associated with polluted beachwater include conditions such as stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. In addition to the health risks from polluted beachwater, economists have estimated that a typical swimming day is worth approximately $35 to each individual, so depending on the number of potential visitors to a beach, the "consumer surplus" loss on a day that the beach is closed or under advisory for water quality problems can be quite significant. Get document in pdf.
Healthy Oceans Need Smart Planning
Fact Sheet
We demand a lot from our oceans -- from fishing and tourism, to shipping and energy development. These human uses and the environmental needs of the sea have been governed haphazardly -- overseen by more than 140 laws and 20 agencies, each with different goals and often conflicting mandates. But our oceans and coasts are stressed from problems like pollution, depleted fish populations, dying coral, endangered species, warmer temperatures and ocean acidification. If not carried out wisely, growing industrial use of these waters will lead to “ocean sprawl,” further threatening the health of our valuable marine resources and jeopardizing the food, jobs and recreation our oceans provide. By planning ahead for our human needs from the sea we can reduce conflicts and keep ocean waters and life healthy. Get document in pdf.
Keep Our Beaches Clean
Prevent the Beachwater Pollution That Makes Swimmers Sick
Fact Sheet
Beach vacations are an annual summer event for many families. But beachgoers at polluted beaches around the country may bring back an unwanted souvenir from their trip: ear infections, stomach flu, skin rashes, and other illnesses that are caused by polluted beachwater. To help keep our beaches clean, NRDC supports improved beachwater testing to detect the pathogens that can cause health problems in swimmers. Bills now pending in Congress would provide funding for much-needed beach cleanup efforts and help ensure that the public is notified promptly when beaches are unsafe for swimming. These bills will help make sure that our beaches are safe for swimming every day.
Get document in pdf.
Florida’s Coastal and Ocean Future
A Blueprint for Economic and Environmental Leadership
Issue Paper
With tourism, fishing, and recreational sport bringing billions of dollars into Florida each year, the coast is Florida's economic engine. This issue paper provides a blueprint for how local leaders and decision makers can -- and must -- take action to protect Florida’s marine and coastal ecosystems.
Global Warming’s Effects on Florida’s Oceans and Coasts Demand Immediate Action
Fact Sheet
NRDC and our partners are fighting to revive and protect Florida's thriving coastal and ocean economy by promoting measures that will reduce global warming pollution and protect coastal habitats and restore robust fisheries. Get document in pdf.
New York State's Strained Ocean Resources
Commercially and culturally vital, New York's shorelines, beaches and fisheries are in trouble.
Fact Sheet
Healthy, diverse ocean ecosystems are an important part of New York's coastal heritage and economic well-being. Yet these ocean systems are severely strained from pollution, destruction of productive marine habitat, and overfishing.

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Recent Legislative Fact Sheets

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act is a Step to Building our Clean Energy Future
Senator Markey's legislation to establish a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) and standalone Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) would put in place key tools in the fight to address dangerous climate change. In order to meet our...
It's Time to Build an Economy that is Stronger, Cleaner, Healthier, and Made to Last
Clean energy and energy efficiency have provided a robust source for economic growth and innovation during difficult times and we should not reverse course. The impending budget sequester and expiring tax incentives will significantly reduce...
State Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rules and Enforcement: A Comparison
This analysis provides a comprehensive comparison of existing disclosure requirements for states with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. It finds more than half of the states with hydraulic fracturing activity currently have no...

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