Blue Water Task Force, Source Identification, Water Quality
March 01 2013

Pollution Source Tracking Guide

by Mara Dias

Increasingly, Surfrider Chapters with BWTF programs are forging partnerships with local and state governments to investigate and  identify the sources of pollution detected at their local beaches.   Resources such as this newly developed source tracking guide can give good advice on how to plan a study to determine where the sources of beach pollution are in your coastal watershed.

See below announcement for project description and links.

Source Tracking Protocol Development Project

The City of Santa Barbara and UCSB worked together on a Source Tracking Protocol Development Project, and we would like to share the resources that we produced.  The project was funded largely by the State of California's Clean Beaches Initiative Grant Program, which is part of the State Waterboard. The project focuses on finding sources of human waste in storm drains and creeks. I like to think of it as putting the "point" in non-point source human fecal pollution.
The first resource is what I consider a glossy advertisement to inspire groups to work on these challenging issues.  This is a short document that provides an overview of tools available and successful examples of their use (some of which were provided by helpful folks who responded to my NPSinfo query a couple of years ago). It can be found here:
Manager's Guide
The short document links frequently to a much more detailed and technical report produced by Dr. Patricia Holden at UCSB. This report can also be found here:
Source Tracking Protocol Development Project Full Report


Also available from the Maine Healthy Beaches Program is this guide to tracking the sources of watershed pollution:


Municipal Guide to Clean Water: Conducting Sanitary Surveys to Improve Coastal Water Quality



The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), presented by Emergen-C Blue®, helps local chapters alert citizens and officials in their communities about water quality issues and works to implement solutions. As clean water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, Emergen-C Blue is committed to supporting, enhancing, and extending the efforts of the BWTF by donating 20 cents for every box sold to further the important work being done to improve water quality. For more information about Emergen-C Blue and the Emergen-C Fund, please visit .