The Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) have joined forces to initiate water quality testing at some of the most popular swimming and surfing beaches on Eastern Long Island. CCOM is a non-profit environmental organization that works to preserve and protect the unique environment and ecology of Montauk through education, advocacy, and grassroots citizen action.
This collaborative water testing program began in June 2013, and is run entirely by trained, local volunteers. Water samples are collected weekly and following major rain events from sites along Ditch Plain Beach and from Lake Montauk near South Lake Beach. Sites are also re-sampled when unusually high bacteria levels are measured. Water samples are processed at a water testing laboratory located at the CCOM office.
The purpose of this water testing program is to raise public and governmental awareness of the environmental challenges confronting our community. Montauk is a beach town and much or our lives and livelihoods revolve around the beach and the ocean. Recreational activities such as swimming, surfing, and fishing, business interests such as commercial fishing and our tourism industries are all dependent upon clean water and clean beaches. The water quality data generated by this testing program will better inform surfers, swimmers and families of the condition of the water at their favorite beaches. Surfrider and CCOM also hope that by generating more awareness of local water quality issues our community and local governments will play important roles in improving the cleanliness and quality of our environment.