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Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a Water Testing Program

BWTF 2014 Annual Report

BWTF 2013 Annual Report

BWTF 2012 Annual Report

BWTF 2011 Annual Report

Water Sampling Instructions  &  Sampling Data Sheet

BWTF Lab Instructions for IDEXX Quant-tray/Enterolert method

MPN Table for the Quantitray Sealer

How-to videos posted by IDEXX for using the Quantitray Method with Enterolert or Colilert

Video demonstration of water sample preparation in the lab

Ocean Illness Form.  Use this web-based tool to collect reports of people getting sick from swimming or surfing at your local beaches.  Chapters can set up “alerts” on the site that will send them emails whenever a report is submitted within their designated area.

What's in the Water? 1-page handout

 Video  featuring Santa Monica High School students describing their testing program and their local pollution issues.  Illustrates sample collection and reading lab results.

BWTF Manual circa 2003

Beach Signs and Public Notices of Beach Closures & Swimming Advisories

Video  Surfrider Foundation Europe Ocean Report: Water Quality & Health, this 11 min video provides a good overview of beach pollution issues, health impacts of pollution & how beaches are monitored and managed in Europe.  Most issues are very relevant to US too.  Good educational video to show BWTF volunteers or students.

Reducing Plastic Waste: Using an Autoclave & Glassware in the Lab

Source Tracking Guides for Bacterial Pollution

For more, see our Blue Water Task Force page on Beachapedia.

Looking for Warning Signs in Hawaii

July 01 2015

Looking for Warning Signs in Hawaii

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality Public Notification

There is good news coming out of Hawaii as Surfrider's efforts there have seen the successful passage of two new laws that will curb the pollution from stormwater runoff and finally bring the the State into the 21rst century of wastewater management by outlawing the installation of new cess pools. Now the Chapters are asking the State to do the right thing and post warning signs at popular recreational sites where there are well documented and known problems with bacterial contamination.

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Cowell’s Beach #1 Beach Bummer, but Progressing

June 19 2015

Cowell’s Beach #1 Beach Bummer, but Progressing

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Solutions Source Identification Water Quality

Cowell's Beach in Santa Cruz, California remains at the top of the Beach Bummer list highlighted in the 2015 Beach Report Card released by Heal the Bay, but local groups have activated to look for solutions for this popular beach's pollution problems.

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2014 BWTF Annual Report

May 21 2015

2014 BWTF Annual Report

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality

The Surfrider Foundation is pleased to release its 2014 Annual Report for the Blue Water Task Force program. The time and interest that chapters and volunteers continue to dedicate towards monitoring the water quality at their local beaches is truly inspiring, especially as our federal government continues to threaten to withdraw financial support for beach water testing programs.

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Santa Cruz BWTF, 20+ Years of Service!

May 19 2015

Santa Cruz BWTF, 20+ Years of Service!

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Solutions Source Identification Water Quality

The Santa Cruz Chapter was one of the first Surfrider chapters to establish a BWTF water testing program back in 1993. Over the past 20+ years, the chapter has been building a historical record of water quality information for local beaches and driving campaigns to solve beach pollution problems.

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Marin County BWTF Fostering Student Scientists & Advocates

May 19 2015

Marin County BWTF Fostering Student Scientists & Advocates

Blue Water Task Force Youth Water Quality

The Marin County Chapter uses its BWTF water testing program to educate local high school students on the science and methodology of water quality monitoring, local water pollution issues, and Surfrider’s mission to protect and enjoy our ocean, waves and beaches.

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South Sound BWTF in Tacoma, WA

May 19 2015

South Sound BWTF in Tacoma, WA

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Water Quality

The South Sound Chapter is providing a great collaborative opportunity through their BWTF water testing program for an educational institution, Surfrider volunteers, and local health agencies to work together to provide better protection for beachgoers and water recreational enthusiasts in Tacoma, Washington.

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Virginia Beach BWTF, 1st Year Anniversary

May 19 2015

Virginia Beach BWTF, 1st Year Anniversary

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality

This spring marks the passage of a successful first year of providing year-round water quality information to surfers and other ocean recreationists by the Virginia Beach BWTF

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Citizen Science Collaborating with Agency Programs in Oregon

May 13 2015

Citizen Science Collaborating with Agency Programs in Oregon

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Solutions Water Quality

Surfrider and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality co-hosted a beach bacteria workshop in Newport, Oregon to inform the public of their joint efforts to asses beach water quality impairments and support the DEQ's Midcoast Water Quality Management Process.

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Surfrider Vancouver Island Engaging Local Youth

May 05 2015

Surfrider Vancouver Island Engaging Local Youth

Blue Water Task Force Youth QUAD Rise Above Plastics Water Quality

The Vancouver Island Chapter is using their Blue Water Youth Task Force water testing program to promote environmental stewardship in youth and ensure safe and healthy access to local coastal habitats. This video documents how engaged the participating kids are in both the water quality testing and protecting the beach, coastal habitats and marine life.

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Water testing protects public health at US beaches

March 17 2015

Water testing protects public health at US beaches

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality Illness Public Notification

The Surfrider Foundation is once again looking to Congress to restore federal funding for the EPA BEACH grants program that funds water quality monitoring and public notification programs at beaches across the country.

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Welcome Aboard Tamalpais High School

February 26 2015

Welcome Aboard Tamalpais High School

Blue Water Task Force Youth

The Marin County BWTF program has established a new lab at Tamalpais High School. The Tamalpais Environmental Science students have been out every week since the end of January sampling three area beaches. The Chapter is excited to bring the Blue Water Task Force program into this new public high school exposing the students to the science and methodology of water quality monitoring, local water pollution issues, and Surfrider’s mission to protect and enjoy oceans, waves and beaches.

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BWTF Kaua’i Ocean Safety Report

February 25 2015

BWTF Kaua’i Ocean Safety Report

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality Public Notification

The Kaua’i BWTF released their annual program report in their local newspaper earlier this month. Their chapter tests 24 surf breaks and streams around the island on a monthly basis, and every year presents their findings along with water quality data collected by the State Department of Health (DOH) to increase public awareness of water quality concerns on Kaua’i.

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Preguntaquas: Rincón BWTF expands in NW Puerto Rico

February 17 2015

Preguntaquas: Rincón BWTF expands in NW Puerto Rico

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Water Quality

The Rincón Chapter BWTF has entered into a new collaboration with the Department of Applied Ocean Science & Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) and the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CariCOOS). The purpose of the Prequntaguas project is to increase public health monitoring of fecal bacterial contamination in recreational waters in Northwest Puerto Rico.

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Vancouver Island BWYTF joins Waterkeeper Swim Guide

February 15 2015

Vancouver Island BWYTF joins Waterkeeper Swim Guide

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Youth Water Quality Public Notification

The Vancouver Island Chapter's Blue Water Youth Task Force water testing results can now be viewed on the Waterkeeper Swim Guide. Available online or through a free phone app, the Swim Guide reaches 150,000 beach users throughout North America.

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Tackling Contamination at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz

January 26 2015

Tackling Contamination at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Solutions Source Identification Water Quality

The Santa Cruz Chapter's Blue Water Task Force water testing program is supporting the efforts of a new Working Group tasked by the City to find and test out all potential solutions to the chronic contamination that has plagued Cowell's Beach over recent years.

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Victory!  Short Sands Water Quality Protection

January 22 2015

Victory!  Short Sands Water Quality Protection

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Solutions Source Identification Water Quality

Oregon Parks Department is nearing completion on a new septic system at Short Sands beach to help address the water quality issues first identified in August of 2013, through the work of the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program, Department of Environmental Quality, Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force Program and concerned local ocean users.

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New QUAD Club and BWTF Lab Launches in Bandon, Oregon!

January 07 2015

New QUAD Club and BWTF Lab Launches in Bandon, Oregon!

Blue Water Task Force Youth QUAD

The Coos Bay Chapter has teamed up with a science class at Bandon High School to increase youth engagement in local water quality issues.

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Beach Water Testing Programs Saved Again

December 16 2014

Beach Water Testing Programs Saved Again

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality

Funding for the EPA BEACH Grants program was saved by Congress for the third year in a row, with the passage of the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill this week. State and local beach water quality monitoring and public notification programs remain in business for at least another year. Surfrider now looks ahead to next year’s budget and insuring long-term funding for the EPA BEACH Grant program.

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BWTF Pollution Solutions Expanding in Oregon in 2015

December 15 2014

BWTF Pollution Solutions Expanding in Oregon in 2015

Blue Water Task Force Partnerships Solutions Source Identification Youth Water Quality

Thanks to the generosity of Eva Chiles Meyer Fund #1 and the Oneatta Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the reach of the BWTF in Oregon will continue to grow in 2015. Projects to be supported include the launch of a new lab and program at Bandon High School, collaboration with the City of Newport on a water quality restoration project and a multi-agency partnership to source and educate on pollution issues at Oswald West State Park (Short Sands beach).

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California Drought Ideas In Line With Surfrider’s Approach

November 17 2014

California Drought Ideas In Line With Surfrider’s Approach

Blue Water Task Force Know Your H20 Ocean Friendly Gardens

Today's release of a report, which Surfrider contributed to, lists actions that state and federal agencies can take now and prepare for the future. It's right in line with Surfrider's Clean Water Initiative approach.

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Mara Dias mdias@surfrider.org