Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program

The Cooperative Coastal Monitoring Program (CCMP) is a joint effort between the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the Monmouth County Department of Health, and local health agencies. During the bathing beach season, 51 stations are monitored on a weekly basis for enterococcus bacteria (click here for map.)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act requires states to adopt revised water quality standards for coastal recreational beaches by April 2004. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has amended the New Jersey State Sanitary Code Chapter IX Public Recreational Bathing rules to change the bacteria standard for sampling water at coastal bathing beaches from fecal coliform to Enterococcus. This change went into effect on April 5, 2004. EPA's Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Bacteria - 1986 determined that enterococci bacteria is best suited for predicting the presence of pathogens that cause illness and shows the best relationship to swimming-associated gastroenteritis.

The new bacteria standard will not require a change in beach closing procedure. As in the past when the bacteria density exceeded the standard a second sample was collected to confirm the result. The single sample maximum allowable density of enterococci in marine waters is 104 per 100 ml of sample. Any sample that exceeds 104 will be resampled to confirm the original result. A second sample greater than 104 will require a beach closing until a sample result is again within the standard. There will be no change in sampling day or station locations.

Page Last Updated: 12/31/2013 3:54:00 PM

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