Program to monitor saltwater beaches for bacteria

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The state's BEACH program will monitor about bacteria levels at about 70 popular saltwater beaches this summer.

The program tries to reduce the risk of disease spread by bacteria in the water. It notifies the public when bacteria results are high and educates people about how to avoid getting sick from playing in saltwater.

The state Departments of Ecology and Health coordinate the federally funded program. Local health agencies, tribal nations and volunteers implement it.