In 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established the Beaches Environmental Assessment, and Coastal and Health (BEACH) Program. The goal of the BEACH program is to reduce risks to human health caused by exposure to pathogens in recreational waters. Surveys and ongoing scientific studies continue to document the presence of, or the potential for, disease-carrying bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens present in local beach water, primarily from sewage and stormwater runoff. Humans can be exposed to pathogens in recreational waters through ingestion, inhalation, and body contact. The BEACH Program focuses on the following five areas to improve public health and environmental protection programs for beach goers, and to provide the public with information about the quality of their beach water: strengthening beach standards and testing; providing faster laboratory test methods; predicting pollution; investing in health and methods research, and informing the public. The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000 authorized EPA to award grants for development and implementation of programs to notify the public of the potential exposure to disease-causing microorganisms in coastal recreation waters.