The Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM), and the Peconic Baykeeper have joined forces to initiate water quality testing at some of the most popular swimming and surfing beaches on Eastern Long Island. Water samples are collected at 50 locations from Montauk to East Quogue. The Blue Water Task Force samples weekly during the summertime, bi-weekly during the spring and fall, and monthly during the winter. Sites are also re-sampled when unusually high bacteria levels are measured.
This collaborative water testing program began in June 2013, and is run entirely by trained, local volunteers. Though the program started in Montauk, it has significantly expanded since establishing a new partnership with the Peconic Baykeeper in Fall of 2015. Now, the Eastern Long Island's Blue Water Task Force has two labs: one at CCOM, and one within Chris Gobler's lab at Stony Brook Southampton.
The purpose of this water testing program is to raise public and governmental awareness of the environmental challenges confronting our community. 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, CCOM, and the Peconic Baykeeper 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.
For any inquiries about Surfrider's Blue Water Task Force, or if you are interested in being a volunteer water sampler for the Eastern Long Island Chapter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download Eastern Long Island/CCOM's Water Testing Manual here.
Local media: click here.