Science Inventory

Virtual Beach: Decision Support Tools for Beach Pathogen Prediction

Citation:

WOLFE, K. L., W. E. FRICK, R. G. ZEPP, M. MOLINA, AND M. J. CYTERSKI. Virtual Beach: Decision Support Tools for Beach Pathogen Prediction. Presented at EPA Science Forum, Washington, DC, May 20 - 22, 2008.

Impact/Purpose:

Refine and expand the validation of existing statistical models (e.g. multi-variable linear regression (MLR) models, such as Virtual Beach) for freshwater beach notification and advisories/closures, and develop method for model calibration for broader site specific applications.

Description:

The Virtual Beach Managers Tool (VB) is decision-making software developed to help local beach managers make decisions as to when beaches should be closed due to predicted high levels of water borne pathogens. The tool is being developed under the umbrella of EPA's Advanced Monitoring Initiative (AMI) and in support of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act. AMI is an EPA initiative that advances the goals of integrating science and environmental data into decision support tools useful to policy makers and individuals. Virtual Beach is comprised of two components. The first is a data exploration/model builder tool that facilitates the development of a multiple linear regression (MLR) equation for predicting pathogen concentrations for a specific beach based on environmental data such as wave height and water temperature. The second component is a Beach Manager tool that is deployed for use by local beach officials. It houses the MLR developed with the model builder, automatically pulls in distributed data for the current day, and makes a prediction to aid local officials in deciding whether a beach should be closed for a particular day. VB should benefit the beach going public by keeping the beaches open on more days when they are safe, and protecting them more frequently when water quality drops below acceptable levels. The testing and deployment of VB is possible through collaboration between the Office of Water, Region 5 and several Great Lake States and organizations.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 05/20/2008
Record Last Revised: 06/05/2008
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 189028

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION

REGULATORY SUPPORT BRANCH