The U.S. EPA is granting $215,000 for Ohio to warn the public about dangers at beaches. (Laura Johnston, RocktheLake)

The U.S. EPA is awarding Ohio $215,000 in grants to protect the public at Lake Erie beaches this year, the EPA announced Wednesday.

The grant will be used to help inform beachgoers about water quality so they can better enjoy Ohio’s beautiful beaches this summer without any worry, said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp.

“Ohio has a robust beach monitoring program for public beaches and recreational waters,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes. “This federal funding will support our efforts to keep Ohioans informed about recreational water quality through our BeachGuard website.”

How the Lake Erie Foundation is trying to fix the harmful algae bloom problem

The BeachGuard website aims to prevent people from risks of contracting waterborne diseases from exposure to contaminated waters or toxins found in harmful algal blooms.
The federal Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health awards grants to eligible state, territorial and tribal applicants to help monitor water quality at coastal and Great Lakes beaches.

Since 2002, more than $157 million in EPA BEACH Act grants have been used to monitor beaches for fecal indicator bacteria, maintain and operate public notification systems, identify local pollution sources, and report results to EPA.

Nationwide, the EPA plans to award up to $9.3 million of total BEACH grants to 39 states, territories, and tribes.

7 Lake Erie beaches with lifeguards on duty