The Marin County Chapter supports two groups of students in two local schools to perform their Blue Water Task Force water testing program.
The Chapter has been partnering with the Branson School since 2007 to conduct its water testing program. Surfrider volunteers collect water samples at Bolinas, Stinson Beach, Bay Front Park in Mill Valley and Jamaica St. in Tiburon, and deliver them to dedicated student volunteers (pictured below) who process the samples at a lab set up at their school. Under the supervision of a faculty advisor, the students are responsible for running the lab and recording their data online. Learn more about this student-run program here: http://www.branson.org
During 2016, the Chapter set a second lab at Marin Academy, where a class of oceanography students (pictured below) test two recreational sites on a weekly basis, McNears Beach Park and a popular rowing dock on Corte Madera Creek.
The students alert the Surfrider Chapter if any high results are recorded, and Chapter volunteers in turn sends notice to their County health department. Water quality measured at the ocean beaches testing sites is generally very good, but often (nearly 40% of the time), samples collected from Bay Front Park located on Richardson's Bay close to Pickleweed Inlet fail to meet bacteria standards for recreational exposure.
The Chapter has been sharing their data with local authorities to advocate for finding and fixing the local sources of pollution and to warn against proposed projects that will increase public exposure to this bacterial polltuion. Read more about the Chapter's community advocacy here.
See what else the Marin County Surfrider Chapter is up to here: marin.surfrider.org
Learn more about beach monitoring programs and water quality issues in California in the water quality section of Surfrider's State of the Beach, California State Report. Links to county specific beach websites with water quality data and closures, postings, and advisories can also be accessed in the State of the Beach Report.