The Blue Water Task Force is Surfrider’s volunteer water quality monitoring program that provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Surfrider chapters use this program to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions.
Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) labs measure fecal indicator bacteria levels in recreational waters and compare them to water quality standards set to protect public health. Chapter-run BWTF programs fill in the gaps and extend the coverage of agency-run beach monitoring programs by sampling ocean and bay beaches, estuaries and potential freshwater sources of pollution such as stormwater outlets, rivers and creeks that discharge onto the beach.
The San Mateo Chapter conducts water testing and provides data to improve the public’s knowledge of the safety of our coastal creeks and beach water. BWTF water testing programs measure bacteria levels at both beaches and upstream in their watersheds, then compare them to federal water quality standards established by the EPA to protect public health in recreational waters.
With help from Surfrider HQ, we developed an annual report to document our work in the Blue Water Task Force our efforts last year at local beaches. This can be used to provide local context to the Heal the Bay annual report releases that happen each summer, and be used as a tool for any advocacy work we do in the future.
If you’re interested in learning about water sampling, or coming out with one of our coordinators to learn the process we encourage you to attend our next chapter meeting or social to learn more and how to get involved.
You may also contact the following BWTF leaders via e-mail: