Hawaii Dept. of Health Improves Public Notification of Water Quality Issues

Victory | November 03 2017

Clean Water

Surfrider helps the Hawaii Dept. of Health (DOH) improve its public outreach on water quality issues.

In 2016, Surfrider began meeting with officials at the Hawaii Dept. of Health (DOH) and their Clean Water Branch (CWB) on water quality issues.  Based on results from the Kauai Chapter's Blue Water Task Force, Dr. Carl Berg showed that there were chronically polluted sites on the Island asked for warning signs to educate the public about potential health risks.  Working with the EPA and other stakeholders across the Islands, we worked with CWB officials to help them improve their public notification process.  We were fortunate to have input from water quality specialists like former Oahu Chair Marvin Heskett and current Oahu Treasurer Matt Moore, along with Carl Berg on Kauai and Mara Dias, our national Water Quality Manager.  After more than a year and a half of meetings, Surfrider representatives Stuart Coleman and Rafael Bergstrom were invited to a press conference with DOH officials to unveil the Clean Water Branch's new public notification website.  Just as we asked, the website now includes easy acces to water quality data, Google maps for each site tested and regular updates about water quality conditions.  This was an example of successful collaboration between non-profit groups like Surfrider and government agencies like the Dept. of Health. Here's the website:  https://eha-cloud.doh.hawaii.gov/cwb/#!/viewer

Clean Water

Everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. The Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to tackle ocean pollution problems. We are testing the waters for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness and finding real solutions to ocean pollution; solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies and keep pollution from reaching the ocean.

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Stuart Coleman, HI Man.

Rafael Bergstrom, Oahu Coord.