Rhode Island Local Information

The Rhode Island Chapter partners with the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Watershed Watch program to implement its water testing program.  Watershed Watch supports volunteers from local municipalities, NGOs and community groups across the state to monitor water quality in RI’s lakes, ponds, streams and coastal waters.  Scientists at URI provide training, equipment and supplies to all participating volunteers and run a state-certified lab for sample analysis.  


The Rhode Island Chapter makes up the ocean branch of this watershed program, collecting samples from 15 ocean beaches across the state on a monthly basis.  After analysis at the URI lab, the resulting data are then posted on the Watershed Watch and BWTF websites, shared with the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Beach program, and sent out in a quarterly newsletter to all Watershed Watch volunteers state-wide. 



Over the years, there have been close to 50 Surfrider volunteers involved in this program. In 2013, Watershed Watch celebrates its 25th anniversary, and the Rhode Island Chapter begins its 14th year of water testing. This successful partnership is providing the only source of water quality data at RI’s ocean beaches outside of the narrowly defined summer beach season when the State monitors water quality at licensed bathing beaches only.  As surfers are in the water year-round and often away from lifeguarded beaches, BWTF data is filling a real need to provide water quality information to ocean users across the state. 



Here are just a few of the beaches and surf breaks the RI Chapter is monitoring. 


Bonnet Point

Fenway Beach

  Monahan's, Little Rincon

  Misquamicut, DEM


The Rhode Island Chapter's website


Find out who else is testing beach water in Rhode Island and where by clicking on the RI State summary in NRDC's Testing the Waters Report.


Learn more about beach monitoring programs and water quality issues in Rhode Island in the RI water quality section of Surfrider's State of the Beach report.