08 • 07 • 2012
Sick at the Beach: The Ocean Illness Reporting Tool
Have you ever gotten sick after visiting the beach? Now there’s a place to share your story and see where others are getting sick. Water pollution at the beach can cause many sicknesses, keeping you out of the water and potentially creating long-term health issues. Illnesses associated with polluted beachwater include stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. Unfortunately funding for water quality testing is constantly under threat and there is very little information about where and when people are getting sick from contact with polluted water.
To address this shortfall, we have created a crowd-sourced illness reporting tool at http://sickatthebeach.crowdmap.com. Anyone can easily provide basic info about how and where they got sick, allowing others to see where pollution hotspots are. There is even a tool for setting up alerts, so that you can receive an email when someone reports an illness in your area. As part of Surfrider’s Clean Water Program this new tool adds an additional layer to our efforts to alert the public to water quality problems and the risks of exposure to bacteria in the surf.
Please share this new tool with your friends, or anyone who may have been exposed to polluted water, because a day at the beach shouldn't have to make you sick.