NOTE: The previous graph on this page contained a data error that overestimated the number of beach closures for this region. This error has been addressed as of August 2021.
Beach closures are the number of days when beach water quality is determined to be unsafe.
Time series: This time series shows the average number of beach closure days in the Hawai‘i–Pacific Islands region from 2000 to 2020. During the last five years there has been a significant upward trend while values have remained within the 10th and 90th percentiles of all observed data in the time series.
Gauge: The gauge value of 62 indicates that between 2016 and 2020 the average number of beach closure days in the Hawai‘i–Pacific Islands region was higher than the median value of beach closure days between 2000 and 2020 which was 0.
0–10: The five-year beach closure days average is very low compared to the median value.
10–25: The five-year beach closure days average is much lower than the median value.
25–50: The five-year beach closure days average is lower than the median value.
50: The five-year beach closure days average equals the median value.
50–75: The five-year beach closure days average is higher than the median value.
75–90: The five-year beach closure days average is much higher than the median value.
90–100: The five-year beach closure days average is very high compared to the median.
* gauge value is the percentile rank of the last five years based on the time series.
Indicator and source information:
Unsafe water quality may have significant impacts on human health, local economies, and the ecosystem. Beach water quality is determined by the concentration of bacteria in the water (either Enterococcus sp. or Escherichia coli).
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports coastal states, counties and tribes in monitoring beach water quality, and notifying the public when beaches must be closed. The information presented is from states, counties, and tribes that submit data to the EPA Beach Program reporting database (BEACON). Data obtained from the EPA BEACON website have been provided to EPA by the coastal and Great Lakes states, tribes and territories that receive grants under the BEACH Act. Data were refined to closure, by state or territory, by year.
Data background and limitations:
Data compiled by states or territories are combined in regions defined as US Large Marine Ecosystems (LME). Changes in the number of beach closure days may be driven by changes in the number of beaches monitored under the BEACH Act versus by state and local municipalities and not by changes in water and/or air quality. Not all US beach closures are captured in this database, because not all beaches in a state or territory are monitored through the EPA BEACH Act. Data that were not identified to a water body or identified as inland water were not included. Data for beaches monitored by state and local municipalities are not included.