October 26 2009 | Blue Water Task Force,
by Mara Dias
This summer the Newport Chapter hosted 4 stops for the XplOregon teen road trips program from June through August. The kids arrived on Wednesday nights to set up camp in South Beach or Beverley Beach State Parks. On Thursday morning Newport Chapter volunteers (Matt, Beth, Phil, Joe) met with groups to introduce the Blue Water Task Force program. The kids then went out and collected water samples from 4 different beaches and returned them to the Oregon Coast Aquarium water quality lab where Tricia Ratliff (OCA Youth Volunteer Coordinator) and Charlie (Surfrider OR field coordinator) led them on a tour of the lab, explaining the testing equipment and protocols. The kids then had surfing lessons at one of the beaches where they tested. On Friday morning, Newport Chapter volunteers led the kids on a 2 hour beach cleanup followed with the group returning to the Aquarium to see the results from their water testing of the previous day.
Through this program the XplOregon teens and the Surfrider Foundation formed a strong partnership, advancing youth coastal stewardship values in Oregon for a group of kids who otherwise have little experience with ocean resources.