Water Quality
July 03 2013

Testing the Waters: NRDC’s 2013 Report

by Mara Dias

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released their 23rd annual Testing the Waters Report at the end of June.   20,120 beach closing and advisory days were issued in 2012, with stormwater runoff identified once again as the largest known source of beach pollution.

You can see the fingerprints of many of our chapter BWTF programs by reading the State summaries in this report, as the relationships that our Chapters forge with local agencies become stronger and their involvement in sleuthing and solving local water pollution issues grows.

The Kaua'i Chapter's BWTF program received mention for their cooperation in a source-tracking study with the Hawaii State Department of Health in the Hanalei Bay and Nawiliwili watersheds.  The Rhode Island Chapter is mentioned for collecting samples year-round, helping to extend the States regularly monitored, Memorial to Labor Day beach season.

The WA state summary includes information on a source tracking study that the Northwest Straits Chapter has participated in at Wildcat Cove in Larrabee State Park which appears to point to raccoons as the major current source of pollutionin the campground.  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 OR state summary reports better monitoring and public notification of the Ecola Court stormwater outfall at Cannon Beach.  This is an issue Surfrider's BWTF lab & activists have been working with the City of Cannon Beach on for a few years now.  The increased testing and community awareness of this stormwater issue is motivating the City to take steps to address the pollutions and work towards implementing solutionns. 

In addition to Surfrider's State of the Beach Report, the NRDC Testing the Waters Report http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/default.aspis a great place to look to see what beaches your state and local agencies are testing and what they are finding. The report includes 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.

View Testing the Waters online by clicking here.