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.

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