Blue Water Task Force, Youth, Water Quality
May 21 2019

Sonoma Coast Blue Water Task Force Relaunched

by Colleen Henn

We are delighted to announce the re-launch of the Sonoma Coast Chapter’s Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) program.  There are now 50 volunteer-run BWTF water testing labs across the United States providing critical water quality information to coastal communities nationwide!

The  Blue Water Task Force historically sampled a number of ocean locations on the Sonoma Coast, but the focus of the program has shifted to providing water quality information for inland streams to monitor potential upstream sources of beach water pollution.

Sampling location at Mark West Creek in Santa Rosa.

The Sonoma Coast Chapter provides a unique opportunity for students at the Piner High School to gain hands-on experience in local water quality issues by using an EPA-approved method for water quality testing, the IDEXX Quanti-tray Method.

These methods have been worked in to the Piner High School’s STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum. Surfrider Foundation volunteers collect water samples which are then delivered to the lab at Piner High for the students to process. These water samples are analyzed by the students for the presence of enterococcus, a fecal indicator bacteria that comes from human or animal sources, i.e. sewage or animal waste.

Piner High School Students processing samples in the lab. 

The students then input the data into the database and onto the webpage the next day, making this data available to the public at go.surfrider.org/BWTF.

The Sonoma Coast Chapter hopes to expand sampling to more coastal locations to provide more water quality information and educational opportunities for students and adults alike.

This could be you!

If you are interested in participating in the Sonoma Coast BWTF program, contact Sarah at secretary@sonomacoast.surfrider.org.

Click here for Sonoma County Blue Water Task Force results.