Blue Water Task Force, Water Quality
July 06 2012

Testing the Waters: NRDC’s 2012 Report

by Mara Dias

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released their 22nd annual Testing the Waters Report at the end of June.   23,481 beach closing and advisory days were issued in 2011, with stormwater runoff identified once again as the largest known source of beach pollution causing 47%, or 10,954 closing/advisory days. 

The Kaua'i Chapter's BWTF program has once again received mention for their cooperation in a source-tracking study with the Hawaii State Department of Health.  The WA state summary includes information on a source tracking study that the NW Straits Chapter has participated in at Wildcat Cove in Larrabee State Park which appears to point to wildlife, specifically raccoons, in the campground as the major current source of pollution since several failing septic systems in the area were identified and fixed in recent years.  The NW Straits Chapter is conducting an intensive education effort aimed at making park visitors aware of the water quality issues and what they can do to help.

The NRDC Testing the Waters Report is a great place to look to see what beaches your state and local agencies are testing and what they are finding. This year's report has been reformatted to include interactive beach maps in each state summary.  It also includes very useful information on Sources of Beach Pollution and Health and Economic Impacts of Beach Pollution.