July Newsletter: Safe for Swimming?

July 2023 Newsletter

How often is your beach contaminated? 

More than half of all U.S. beaches had at least one day in 2022 when the water was potentially unsafe for swimming due to fecal contamination from sources such as stormwater runoff, broken sewer systems, and agricultural pollution. Our latest edition of Safe for Swimming, released with Environment America, was covered by Fox News, People magazine and more than 400 other print and broadcast outlets across the country. Our review of more than 100,000 water samples taken at 3,000+ beaches across the country resulted in a state-by-state dashboard-style listing of each beach and its number of potentially unsafe days in 2022 – plus recommendations on how these beaches can get back to being the good clean fun that Americans need them to be.

boy drinking glass of water
beerphotographer | Adobe Stock

Forever is a long time…

Toxic PFAS chemicals, used in everything from clothes to kitchenware to electronics, are now thought to be present in all major water supplies in the U.S. Our new report with PIRG, The Threat of “Forever” Chemicals, provides detailed information for the public and a guide for policies to address the threat.

onurdongel via istockphoto.com | Used by permission

Ask not what your government can do for EVs…

Roughly 900,000 cars and light trucks owned by state and local governments will be retiring over the next decade. If they were replaced by electric vehicles, state and local governments would save a whopping ~$11 billion in lifetime costs, while helping to improve air quality. Electric Vehicles Save Money for Government Fleets, released with PIRG on June 26, details the benefits, including a state-by-state estimate of savings.

Food for thought

James Horrox investigated his environs and found … that buying a sustainable guitar needn’t entail a sacrifice of quality… that light pollution has graver consequences for animals than for humans … and an unsuspected well of gratitude for some of the most apparently unfriendly members of the web of life. Bryn Huxley-Reicher collaborated with Environment America to create a buyer’s guide for those of us who have been standing perplexed in the hardware store’s lightbulb aisle, looking at all the options for LED bulbs. In June Frontier Group bade Huxley-Reicher a fond farewell after three highly productive years; he embarks on renewable energy projects with the U.S. Department of Energy. We’ll be adding new associates in August, and looking for an additional analyst to start in January 2024.


Susan Rakov

Managing Director, Frontier Group; Senior Vice President, The Public Interest Network

Susan directs Frontier Group, the research and policy development center for The Public Interest Network. Frontier Group’s work informs the public discussion about degradations to the environment and public health, threats to consumer rights and democracy, and the available routes to a better future. Susan lives in Santa Barbara, California; she has two children, a husband, and a dog, and is an amateur singer/songwriter.

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