Surfrider Foundation believes that everybody deserves access to clean water to surf, swim, and play in.
The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is Surfrider’s citizen science water testing program that provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach.
Annually, the Blue Water Task Force:
- Runs 55 Active Water Testing Labs
- Tests 480+ Beaches
- Collects 7500+ Samples
We are happy to present this freshly released film to share the stories of our BWTF volunteers nationwide.
Learn more about the Blue Water Task Force programs in Newport, Oregon and Eastern Long Island, NY in these case studies below:
In many areas across the country, as lifeguards leave the beach for the off-season, health officials stop testing. The Blue Water Task Force is dedicated to filling in those gaps. Along with year-round sampling, BWTF labs monitor beaches that are not covered by agencies, including potential sources of pollution like rivers, creeks and stormwater outlets, that discharge onto the beach. Surfrider chapters use this program to bring together their communities to solve local pollution problems.
While Surfrider has temporarily suspended water quality monitoring operations to protect the health of volunteers during the ongoing pandemic, our volunteers are eager to start testing again as soon as health officials deem it safe for this type of work to resume. Many chapter programs have built decades-long datasets that provide valuable water quality information, and they look forward to continuing to provide this service to their communities.
Here are a few simple ways to protect you and your family from getting sick after a day at the beach:
- Know before you go! Check your local water quality conditions before hitting the beach.
- Do not go into the water immediately after it rains. It’s best to wait 24-72 hours depending on where you live.
- Swim and surf away from visible sources of pollution like river outlets, creeks, and storm drains.
- Rinse off with freshwater after you swim.
All of Surfrider Foundation's BWTF data are available online. Visit our newly refreshed national database at bwtf.surfrider.org to see the breadth of beaches covered by the Blue Water Task Force.