SUPPORT SURFRIDER FOUNDATION THIS WORLD OCEANS MONTH

June 03 2014

Keep The Stoke Alive Today, Tomorrow and For Years to Come

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif., Jun. 4, 2014—After 30 years, the Surfrider Foundation [surfrider.org] continues to work tirelessly to fight for our coasts to make sure that our oceans, waves and beaches are protected, preserved and enjoyed by all for years to come.

June is World Oceans Month and Surfrider is raising awareness about the increasingly damaging effects that pollution, habitat loss, development and climate change have on our oceans. Expanding industries such as offshore drilling, renewable energy, shipping and aquaculture are crowding oceans and minimizing recreational use. The impacts of these competing interests lead to declining ocean ecosystem health and threaten both marine life and the health of surfers and beach goers.

Nobody wants to get sick from swimming or surfing at the beach, but when our waters are polluted, people get skin rashes, eye infections, nausea and more. 

“Polluted runoff can flow into the ocean, especially after rain, and threaten the health of swimmers and surfers,” said Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental Director Dr. Chad Nelsen. “Water testing is critical to protect our health and to identify and solve water pollution issues.”

Today, Surfrider releases its Blue Water Task Force Program Annual Report.  

During 2013, Surfrider Chapters and volunteers used this water testing program to provide valuable public health information to beach goers and to create public awareness and the political will to find and fix sources of beach pollution. Water quality test results produced by the program indicate that urban runoff continues to pollute our ocean beaches.

In summary, most water samples collected by Surfrider, or 73%, were relatively clean and measured very low bacteria levels.  Eleven percent of the BWTF results indicated medium bacteria levels, and 16% indicated the presence of high bacterial levels considered unsafe for swimming, surfing, or other recreational exposure.  High bacteria levels indicate fecal contamination and the presence of pathogens, or disease causing organisms, that can cause illness.

The majority of samples that yielded high bacteria counts were collected from freshwater sources such as rivers, creeks and marshes that are influenced by storm water runoff or at beaches near these outlets. This trend is consistent with the Natural Resources Defense Council's Testing The Waters report, which identifies polluted storm water runoff as the largest known source of beach water pollution.

With more than 20,000 beach closures in 2012, Surfrider’s BWTF program will continue to monitor the safety of our beaches to ensure that everyone can enjoy clean ocean water.  For more information here's a detailed look at the report http://bit.ly/BWTF2013.

This World Oceans Month, Surfrider needs your help to continue its fight for clean water to keep the stoke alive for all to enjoy today, tomorrow and years to come. To learn more and support Surfrider’s clean water initiatives including the BWTF, please visit http://bit.ly/WOM2014.

For other World Oceans Month happenings, including the 10-year celebration of International Surfing Day on June 20, visit http://bit.ly/ISD2014.

Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force report is made possible through the generous support of Volkswagen Think Blue and Emergen-C Blue.

About Surfrider Foundation
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit surfrider.org. (Twitter/Instagram: @surfrider)

For further information: Katie Ferguson, +1-949-212-3335, kferguson@surfrider.org