Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The BWTF: Where are we?

BWTF Chapter Programs

(click on map to view using google maps)

There are currently over 30 chapters in the US participating in the Blue Water Task Force. Surfrider volunteers are testing the water quality at beaches along the Atlantic, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico & Pacific Coasts, including the tropical waters of Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The Blue Water Task Force is able to measure bacteria levels at both marine and freshwater beaches and compare them to federal water quality standards established by the EPA to protect public health in recreational waters.

There is a lot of diversity amongst the Blue Water Task Force programs. Each chapter has been able to design and implement their water testing programs to best use their available resources and local needs. Some chapters collect water samples at their local beaches and run their own water testing labs. Some chapters partner with other coastal organizations such as universities, aquariums and watershed groups. Some chapters provide manpower to local beach monitoring programs by collecting water samples and delivering them to state or county run labs, and many chapters have water testing programs established in local schools. Check online to see if a Surfrider chapter near you is posting water quality data from local beaches.

Surfrider Europe also has a very robust bathing waters initiative.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oceans 2030: Youth Outlook, A photo, video & artwork contest

Complete Online Submission Here.

Submission Deadline: November 22, 2010

Oceans 2030: Youth Outlook will provide a forum for youth to share their vision for our oceans over the next 20 years as part of the 11th National Conference: Our Changing Oceans organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE).

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill is a stark reminder of our influence on the ocean, and it value to society and our economy. Oil spills are only one threat. Overfishing, habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, and overarching all of these, climate change will result in profound changes to our oceans and coasts over the next 20 years. Engaging today’s youth in creating solutions is vital, and will shape their futures and the world they inherit.

Oceans 2030 is a multimedia - photo, video, and art - contest. Winning entries in each media will be showcased at the Waves of Change Oceans Expo at the Our Changing Oceans Conference and published online in the Encyclopedia of Earth.


Photograph – digital photograph in high resolution in .jpg, .png or .gif file format
Video – short video (up to 5 minutes) uploaded via YouTube
Graphic Art – illustration or comic (up to 3 panels) in high resolution in .jpg, .png or .gif file format

Each submission must also include 200-300 words (.doc or .pdf file formats) outlining your vision for our oceans in 2030 and why?

Contestants aged 15-24 are allowed one entry which must be your own original work. The content should express personal perspectives and identify key issues and solutions. Submissions will be evaluated on originality, creativity, and relevance to the theme.

Inform your project by perusing the new Ocean Learning E-Resources Website. Each media category can include (but is not limited to) the following suggested topics:

Oceans and Climate
· Sea level rise
· Carbon storage
· Ocean acidification
· Health impacts
· Extreme weather

Marine Ecosystems
· Marine biodiversity
· Wetlands
· Coral reefs
· Deep sea
· Polar regions

Oceans and the Economy
· Fisheries
· Tourism
· Energy
· Pollution and waste
· Ecosystem services

Learn more about these topics, and get ideas for contest, at Ocean Learning E-Resources website.

Download a contest
flyer or the contest guidelines.

Complete Online Submission Form Here.

Submission Deadline: November 22, 201

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Combined Sewer Overflows Continue to Plague the Olympic Peninsula

Combined Sewer Overflows continue to pollute our nation's rivers, bays & beaches. Recent heavy rains in Port Angeles, Washington caused sewage overflows to discharge into the harbor this week. This is an issue the Olympic Coast Chapter has been concerned about for years now. Unfortunately the State did not get it together to pass a new Clean Water bill this year that would have collected funds from the oil industry to help clean up stormwater pollution and fix ongoing problems such as these CSOs in Port Angeles.

See the below press released issued by Clallam County.

"Due to heavy rains on Monday, the four combined sewer overflow (CSO) outfalls in Port Angeles discharged approximately 1.3 million gallons of a mixture of stormwater and raw sewage into Port Angeles Harbor. Two of the CSO outfalls are near Hollywood Beach. Clallam County Environmental Health Division recommends avoiding contact with waters in Port Angeles Harbor 48 hours following rainfall. Contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses. The City of Port Angeles is currently designing a project to significantly reduce the frequency and volume of these discharges. Provided the City receives adequate funding, this project will be constructed beginning in July of 2011. For questions about the advisory, contact Clallam County Environmental Health at 417-2543. For more information about the Port Angeles combined sewer overflows, visit or call 417-4811."