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Article from the February 2010 edition
Beach warning sign
Beach warning sign: Caution, swimming not advised due to high bacteria levels.
Beach bacteria models integrate remote sensing and IOOS data to protect public health
EcoCheck is developing daily forecasts for bacteria conditions at several beaches in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina that are impacted by stormwater. Working with partners at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), the University of South Carolina, and the South East Coast Ocean Observing Region Association (SECOORA), EcoCheck is creating updated models by integrating data from state beach program sampling data, remote sensing, and Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) buoy data. These data can improve model predictions and create the potential for forecasting several days in advance. Models are developed to alert program staff to conditions that are likely to result in high bacteria counts and therefore warrant issuance of an advisory to beachgoers. This project is developing data management and processing tools to allow transfer of the approach to other beaches on the Atlantic coast.

The Integration & Application Network is an initiative of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Further information: www.ian.umces.edu