November 02 2011

Blue Water Task Force Presented by Emergen-C Helps Raise Awareness and Alert Communities of the Need for Water Quality Monitoring

Today, Alacer Corp. – maker of Emergen-C Blue vitamin drink mix – announced that, in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, they are working to raise awareness about the need for clean water and alert communities about water quality issues through the Blue Water Task Force Presented by Emergen-C.
There are many sources of water pollution at our beaches and coastal areas, including storm water runoff, human sewage leaks and spills, agricultural runoff, pets, and wildlife.  Exposure to bacteria and other disease causing pathogens from these sources put swimmers and surfers at risk of getting sick and suffering from skin rashes, infections, and gastrointestinal illnesses. 
The Blue Water Task Force presented by Emergen-C monitors bacteria levels at beaches and freshwater sites, and compares them to federal water quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health in recreational waters.
Volunteers from participating chapters post water quality monitoring results at www.surfrider.org/blue-water-task-force to alert swimmers, surfers, and the general public of pollution incidents and longer-term water quality issues in their local communities.  In most locations, state and local beach monitoring programs are underfunded and limited in scope.  The Blue Water Task Force presented by Emergen-C is able to provide valuable water quality information where it is otherwise scarce or unavailable.  Chapters have also used their water quality data to identify beach and water pollution issues, and have worked collaboratively within their local communities to implement solutions for pollution problem(s).
“Emergen-C Blue and the Surfrider Foundation have forged a partnership on a shared interest – clean water,” said Meghann Seidner, Emergen-C Senior Brand Manager.  “As clean water becomes an increasingly scarce resource, we are committed to supporting, enhancing, and extending the efforts of the Surfrider Foundation so that beach and coastal waterways can be enjoyed safely by everyone.”
Comprised of approximately 28 chapters, the Blue Water Task Force presented by Emergen-C monitors beaches along the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Coasts, as well as the tropical waters of Puerto Rico and Hawaii.  There are numerous ways in which local chapters participate, including collecting water samples at their local beaches and running their own water testing labs, delivering water samples to local or state labs, and/or partnering with other coastal organizations such as universities, aquariums, and watershed groups to monitor water quality and identify pollution issues.  Many Task Force programs are also based in schools and provide a valuable educational experience for local students.
“The Blue Water Task Force presented by Emergen-C is our most active, volunteer-run, water testing, education, and advocacy program,” said Chad Nelsen, Environmental Director of the Surfrider Foundation.  “The support of Emergen-C Blue has greatly enhanced our ability to communicate our water quality information in beach communities and to activate local stakeholders and decision makers to address and fix their water pollution issues.” 
The program was created because surfers were tired of getting sick from surfing in polluted waters and wanted to take action. The Task Force precipitated the establishment of state and local government water quality monitoring programs in many communities and continues to improve public knowledge of the safety of beach water. Through the help of Emergen-C Blue, the Surfrider Foundation has developed a website to store and display their water quality data. This site serves as a platform to alert surfers, swimmers, and the general public of beach water quality conditions and to engage local communities to solve their water pollution issues.
As a sponsor of the Surfrider Foundation since 2009, Emergen-C Blue has donated more than $100,000 to the organization.  For every box of Emergen-C Blue sold, 20 cents is donated to the Surfrider Foundation to further clean water initiatives. Emergen-C Blue is made with blueberry, blackberry and raspberry flavors, and real juice powers, fizzing in water to provide 24 nutrients, including 1,000 mg of vitamin C, seven B vitamins, electrolytes, and more.