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Blue Water Task Force Report Reveals Trends In Coastal Water Quality


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By: Surfrider Foundation

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. May 20, 2013 - Summer is right around the corner and this means that many people will soon flock to the beach. To help make sure your day at the beach does not make you sick, the Surfrider Foundation and Emergen-C Blue are releasing the Second Annual Blue Water Task Force Annual Report to share water quality results from the Foundation's volunteer-run water testing labs. Below is a summary of the 2012 report's top findings:

#1: 18% of the water test results showed high bacteria levels.

While 70% of the tests came back with low bacteria counts, 18% of the tests failed to meet national water quality standards set by the EPA to protect public health in recreational waters. These results are comparable to our program-wide findings in 2011. High bacteria levels indicate fecal contamination and the presence of pathogens, or disease causing organisms, that can cause illness.

#2: Freshwater sources impacted by storm water yielded the greatest amount of high bacteria samples.

The majority of samples that yielded high bacteria counts came from testing locations where freshwater sources drain the landscape or at beaches near these types of outlets. This trend is consistent with NRDC's Testing The Waters report, which identifies polluted storm water runoff as the largest known source of beach water pollution.

#3: Growth in monitoring programs like the Blue Water Task Force helps identify water pollution problems.

The total number of test results recorded in 2012 was up 42% from 2011. This growth demonstrates both increased testing as well as better chapter use of Surfrider Foundation's website to report and share information on the status of their local beaches.

As the long-term prospects for government funded beach water testing and public notification programs becomes more uncertain, volunteer programs like the Blue Water Task Force will become increasingly important in coastal communities around the country in providing basic information on the cleanliness of beach water, protecting the beach-going public from exposure to polluted water, and identifying problem areas that need to be cleaned up.

Learn more about what the Surfrider Foundation is doing to ensure public funding for beach water testing programs continues.

The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world's oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 250,000 supporters, activists and members worldwide. For more information on the Surfrider Foundation, visit www.surfrider.org.

 

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