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Safe to Swim? Clean Water and Public Health in Florida

As we collectively head to the beach this summer to recreate and enjoy our local waves and beaches, we will take home memories that will last a lifetime. Every trip to the beach should be memorable, but unfortunately, due to bacteria and pathogen laden pollution, more and more trips to the beach are memorable (and even dangerous) for the wrong reasons.

This is nowhere more true than in Florida, which enjoys 825 miles of sandy beaches and more than 8,000 miles of coastline. Each year more than 122 million visitors flock from around the world to hit the beach  and recreate in the state’s myriad coastal environments, contributing to an annual, statewide tourism economy valued at more than $101 billion. Despite the high value of clean water and healthy beaches in the Sunshine State, a water quality emergency has long been brewing in Florida. And climate change is only making matters worse!

What happens if you surf, swim or play in polluted water? What is Surfrider doing in Florida to protect public health at the beach and improve water quality across the state for a more resilient future? Watch the film below featuring Surfrider Foundation’s Florida + Puerto Rico Regional Manager Evan Orellana and Florida Policy Manager Emma Haydocy to learn more and take action for clean water and healthy beaches today. 


Take Action

  • Join Surfrider in our pursuit of clean water for all people by asking your representatives in Congress to #StopSewagePollution by investing in upgrading our nation’s wastewater infrastructure.
  • Track Surfrider’s advocacy and legislative efforts in Florida for clean water and check out our policy blog, Impact Zone.
  • Know before you go and visit the Blue Water Task Force website to view water quality conditions before you hit the beach.
Learn more about Florida’s compounding water quality and climate concerns, and needed solutions in this case study

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          Surfrider's Florida staff and volunteers advocating for clean water and healthy beaches at the Florida capitol in Tallahassee.