Blue Water Task Force

Our Science-Based Approach


Since the inception of the Blue Water Task Force program more than 25 years ago, Surfrider volunteers have been out in their communities testing water quality at the beach. Now a large national network with nearly 55 chapter-run labs, the Blue Water Task Force measures bacteria levels at more than 450 ocean, bay, estuary and freshwater sampling sites across the country. Surfrider chapters use this water testing program to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions.


For more information or questions:

Colleen Henn, Clean Water Coordinator

Meet the Blue Water Task Force

Everyone deserves access to clean water to surf, swim and play in.

Why Water Testing Is Important 


The Blue Water Task Force provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Our labs measure fecal indicator bacteria levels in recreational waters and compare those results to local water quality standards.

Blue Water Task Force labs fill in the gaps and extend the coverage of agency-run beach monitoring programs by sampling ocean beaches, bay beaches, and potential freshwater sources of pollution such as stormwater outlets, rivers and creeks that discharge onto the beach. The Blue Water Task Force operates year-round, even through the off-season when,  in many communities, lifeguards leave the beach and health officials stop collecting water samples.


View Our Data


General Blue Water Task Force Information


Standard Operating Procedures: Sampling and Lab Instructions

If you have been sick at the beach, please fill out our Ocean Illness Form. This tool is used to collect reports of people getting sick after swimming or surfing at local beaches. 


Additional Resources

Ways To Get Involved


Join our network and help us tackle the issues that face our ocean, waves and beaches.


Support Surfrider and our network of coastal defenders.

Take Action

Take action right from your computer by contacting your elected officials.