Rhode Island Local Information

The Rhode Island Chapter's  Blue Water Task Force collects water samples for bacterial analysis on a monthly basis year round. Volunteers collect samples from fifteen popular recreational areas throughout Rhode Island. Once collected, samples are sent to the University of Rhode Island’s Watershed Watch laboratory, where they are analyzed for Fecal Coliform and Enterococcus bacteria. 

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.  

This successful partnership provides 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 the need to provide water quality information to ocean users across the state. 

Data collected through this program is used to determine pollution patterns and to inform local citizens and officials about the water quality of the Rhode Island coastline. Water quality results are available online on the Blue Water Task Force Website, Rhode Island Department of Health website, and sent out in a quarterly newsletter to all Watershed Watch volunteers state-wide. 

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

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.

Rhode Island Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force is always looking for volunteers to help collect water samples. No experience is necessary! For more information, contact