BEACH Program

2016 Washington State BEACH Program Annual Report

The Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication & Health (BEACH) Program ensures that marine water is safe to swim and play in and informs the public if water isn’t safe. During the 2016 beach season, 61 public beaches were sampled from Memorial Day through Labor Day. High-use beaches were sampled weekly or biweekly for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness.

Sign on swimming beach

Since 2004, the BEACH Program has been working with local partners (counties, tribes, and volunteer groups) to monitor marine beaches in Puget Sound and on the Washington coast. The Makah Tribe has a beach sampling program. During 2016, they sampled five public beaches weekly throughout the year on the Makah reservation in Clallam County.

Water Quality—Beach by Beach

Click on the county links below for more details on water quality at local swimming beaches:

Clallam |Grays Harbor | Island | Jefferson | King | Kitsap
Mason | Pierce | Skagit | Snohomish | Thurston | Whatcom


Beach Water Quality Summary 2016

In 2016, the Washington State and Makah Tribal BEACH Programs sampled 66 beaches. The figure below shows that in 2016, 92.4% of beaches had less than two swimming advisories or closures. This year the percentage of beaches meeting the swimming criteria (passing) improved from 2015 and was above the yearly average (2004-2016) of 84.3% passing.

Percentage of WA State Marine Beaches Meeting Swim Criteria - Average 84.3%