Volunteers Protect Clean Water from Coast to Coast

By Guest | April 24, 2018 4:06 pm

By: Mara Dias and Colleen Henn

The Surfrider Foundation is pleased to release its 2017 Clean Water Annual Report, which tracks the progress of our Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) and Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) programs during the calendar year of 2017.  At a time when it can be difficult to depend on the federal agencies tasked with protecting our clean water and healthy coasts, it is encouraging to see how much a dedicated network of volunteers can accomplish in just one year!

_Picture1One of the Surfrider Foundation’s core beliefs is that everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim, and play in. Through its Clean Water Initiative, Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to protect water quality in local waterways and to reduce ocean pollution. We are testing the water for bacteria and other contaminants, raising awareness, and offering integrated solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies, and keep pollution from reaching the ocean. Our annual report shows the impact Surfrider volunteers and activists are having in communities around the country to protect public health and clean water at the beach.

During 2017, the Blue Water Task Force water testing program continued to grow, with overall testing up 18% from the previous year. Forty BWTF labs processed 6,097 water samples collected from 446 distinct sampling sites. And we have already brought 5 new labs onboard in 2018!

_Picture2The collective results from all the participating BWTF labs have remained relatively constant since we began compiling an annual report in 2011. Of the 6,097 water test results reported in 2017, 70% indicated low bacteria levels, 11% indicated medium bacteria levels, and 19% measured high bacteria levels that exceed the national water quality standard set by the EPA to protect public health in recreational waters.

The majority of the water samples that failed to meet health standards were collected from freshwater sources such as rivers, creeks and marshes affected by stormwater runoff or at beaches near these outlets. This is consistent with national trends, which show that stormwater runoff is the number one cause of beach closures and swimming advisories in the United States.

This front yard in Oxnard, California has been transformed from a tired and thirsty turf lawn into a beautiful Ocean Friendly Garden conserving water and providing habitat for pollinators.

This front yard in Oxnard, California has been transformed from a tired and thirsty turf lawn into a beautiful Ocean Friendly Garden conserving water and providing habitat for pollinators.

Surfrider chapters are also digging in and using their Ocean Friendly Gardens program to help solve the water quality problems caused by stormwater and urban runoff in their local communities.  By planting native, climate-appropriate plants, building healthy soils, and carefully shaping landscapes to slow down and retain rainwater, Surfrider volunteers are transforming landscapes and hardscapes to reduce pollution and conserve water and wildlife habitat.  During 2017, 23 Surfrider chapters ran OFG programs and installed 52 gardens to transform public and residential spaces to become Ocean Friendly.

In 2017, chapters from Maui to Oregon’s North Coast to coastal North Carolina achieved great success in advancing policy changes that have resulted in better public health protection at the beach and the protection of local water supplies and coastal watersheds. Importantly, the Rincón, Puerto Rico and St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands chapters helped jumpstart water quality monitoring programs in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Read the Clean Water Report for more details on these campaign victories and to learn how the chapters featured in these and other case studies are implementing their clean water programs to raise awareness about water pollution issues and to advocate for solutions.

Anyone can join Surfrider in their efforts to fight for clean water by participating in this action alert and asking Congress to support continued funding for beach water testing programs.  A day at the beach shouldn’t cause you or your family to get sick at the beach. Stand up for Clean Water!

Mara Dias is Surfrider Foundation’s Water Quality Manager, who leads Surfrider’s Clean Water Initiative. Within the Clean Water initiative are the Blue Water Task Force, Surfrider’s citizen science water quality monitoring program, and Ocean Friendly Gardens, Surfrider’s educational landscaping program that aims to reduce water quality issues caused by urban runoff.  Mara is active in securing federal funding for agency-run water testing programs through the EPA BEACH Act while also providing Surfrider Chapters the support to solve pollution problems on a grassroots level.  

Colleen Henn is Surfrider Foundation’s Clean Water Programs Coordinator. Colleen provides support for the 40+ Blue Water Task Force labs across the US, assisting with the growth of new and existing Blue Water Task Force labs, coordinating logistics and communicating critical water quality data to the public. Colleen also runs her local BWTF lab in Eastern Long Island, doing education programs to engage the next generation of environmental stewards. 
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment
  • OWilson

    As usual just another front for political activism.

    The first thing that jumps up when visiting the Surfrider Website is an anti-Trump banner!

    I mean can you trust rabid partisan folks to collect and report real data? :)

    • Trumpforprison2018

      Democrats = 41 seats flipped since Trump was elected

      Republicans = 0

      Enjoy the Blue Tsunami!!

      • OWilson

        In the only poll that got the election results correct, Trump’s approval is higher than Obama, Hillary, the News Media, and the Washington D.C. Swamp!

        Republicans control the White House, Senate, Congress, the Supreme Court appointments, most State Legislatures, and most State Governorships!

        The Dems are leaderless, and the DNC is broke!

        You might have a little work to do!

        Good luck with that blue tsunami!

        • Trumpforprison2018

          # of federal appeal courts with DEMOCRATIC MAJORITIES 9

          # of federal appeal courts with republican majorities 4

          Embrace the suck you low iq piece of chit and say BYE BYE to the house and senate come this November. heheheheh

          • OWilson

            Maybe it’s your coffee? :)

        • Trumpforprison2018

          You right wing vermin are DEAD

  • Mike Richardson

    It’s a shame when politics drives some to oppose what should be a universally recognized good thing — protection of clean water. Contrarianism at its worse.

    • OWilson

      The political left, have co-opted environmentalism.

      The City where I used to live has beautiful parks, mostly left to the city by private landowners who protected the steams and trees from the ravages of socialist developments that are torn down in 20 years as ghetto eyesores!

      Rare oases of respite from

      See what the Left did to the environment in Poland, Russia, North Korea and China.

      Of, course a strawman is needed.

      Bastardize the language, “conservative”, the Big Lie goes that conservatives want dirty water and dirty air.

      Now taught in schools!

      • Mike Richardson

        “The political left, has co-opted environmentalism.”

        Liberals, progressives, and moderates (the “left” ) became involved in environmentalism because the right abandoned it as a priority. A Republican administration created the Environmental Protection Agency, but the current one has appointed an administrator for the agency more concerned with lavish spending on himself and relaxing environmental regulations on his industry cronies, than he is in actually protecting the environment. Little wonder that citizens are organizing on their own to promote conservation, when a conservative administration won’t.

        It’s also ridiculous to lump in moderate liberalism, and the mild socialism that coexists with capitalism in western Europe, as a monolithic “Left” responsible for authoritarian communism in other parts of the world. That would be equivalent to me saying that conservatives like you are responsible for the extreme right-wing fascist parties that arose in the early 20th century, or those that appear to be on the rise now. That’s simplistic hyperbolic rhetoric that ignores reality, like most of your arguments.

        “Of, course a strawman is needed.”

        … Which you then provided, in the form of arguing (here, and repeated in your other post) that anyone is claiming conservatives or Republicans “want dirty water and dirty air.” No, I think the actual position of conservatives in many cases is that they place a higher priority on profit than the environment, and when those priorities become official policy, predictably the environment suffers. That’s no Big Lie, but instead the simple truth.

        • OWilson

          No strawman here!

          “Republicans want dirty water and dirty air” – Nancy Pelosi!

          • Mike Richardson

            Her words, not mine. But generalize away. You have no other point, apparently, and eagerly prove what I’ve stated about your tendency to overgeneralize in a futile attempt to deflect from the weakness of your arguments. Bravo. 👏 😏

          • OWilson

            You and I are insignificant posters to an internet blog.

            Nancy Pelosi’s words carry far more weight than yours or mine.


          • Mike Richardson

            Your entire initial post actually gives the impression that you oppose those things, if “leftists” are for them. Once again, you’ve allowed the expression of your own partisan views to show how unreasonable you are, when most people would applaud the civic spirit discussed in the article. Perhaps you’d find a more receptive audience in the political blogs you frequent, where partisanship is apparently more important than accuracy.

          • OWilson

            My “audience” seems to agree more with me than your “audience” seems to agree with you, Mikey!

            Take a lot of trumped up narcissism to be giving advice on that score, Lol!

            If I didn’t respond to you, who would?

            Perhaps if you dropped the “fascist supporter”, “liar” and your various mental deficiency, accusations from your passive/aggressive, Jeckyl and Hyde act, you too might find a more receptive audience!

            And, you wouldn’t have to follow me around like a lapdog, for attention!


          • Mike Richardson

            I’m not surprised you’ve found a few ditto heads on the political blogs to approve of your empty rhetoric. Over there, you probably do get more approval than I would, at least with the right wingers. On these Discover science blogs (the ones that haven’t banned you for that behavior, at least), not so much. 😉

            “Takes a lot of trumped up narcissism to be giving advice on that score!”

            ……………. “If I didn’t respond to you, who would?”
            ……………. “And, you wouldn’t have to follow me around like a lapdog, for attention!”

            — And that, folks, is a prime example of Ol’ Wilson’s well-known lack of irony awareness. LOL! 😁

          • OWilson

            That phony overstated and even illustrated attempt at laughter, gives your true feelings away, Mikey! :)

            I take Tom Youlsman at his word that my “time out” from his Global Waming Blog, was for a “couple of weeks”, but he has been banning dissenting voices for some time now.

            My own “time out” was he says, “for saying the same thing over and over again” (as in facts, Lol!) to the constant stream of trolls he allows in with the same phony strawman premises.

            His recent threat to ban, was to our TLongmire for being a “boring” “party pooper” for posting Tom’s own contradictory graphs. :)

            His lame excuse for not censuring your trolling true believer friends who say truly horrible things to skeptics in language that is unrepeatable here, is that “he doesn’t have the time” to monitor his blog the way he should!

            His usual phony ‘low level” excuse! :)

            A couple of recent bannings and increased threats of bannings have ensured he will have his Global Warming safe space to himself and his true ,”Me Too Mikey” believers.

            But his traffic has dropped off considerably because now you can only read the “same boring stuff over and over again” .

            Now THAT, Mikey is really ironic! :)

            I am content to post respectfully in a more discussion friendly environment here in all the other Discover Blogs, where diverse views are allowed and encouraged.

            Science without skepticism, is Dogma!

            Only in Global Warming Climatology is the thirst for intolerance, censorship, banning, and “bringing climate deniers to justice”, to quote your chosen Presidential candidate, so strong!

            Why do you think that is, Mikey? :)

          • Mike Richardson

            “…phony overstated and even illustrated attempt at laughter…”

            I assure you, Ol’ Wilson, that tirades like the one you launched above produce genuine laughter and amusement on my end. Let me illustrate: 😁

            On the other hand, your gratuitous use of smilies after nearly each item of your long list of grievances seems just a little out of context here, doesn’t it? Poor Wilson, smiling through the pain.

            “I am content to post respectfully…” .LOL! 😂

            — “trumped up narcissism”
            — “your passive/aggressive, Jeckyl and Hyde act”
            — “like a lapdog”
            — “constant stream of trolls”
            — “trolling true believer friends”
            — “‘Me Too Mikey ‘ believers”

            Yep, I don’t know how Tom’s going to manage without such respectful discourse. 😏 Maybe he just realized you aren’t going to change, and that expecting you to learn from your mistakes after numerous warnings would be, as Einstein said, the definition of insanity.

            And Wilson, as you keep demonstrating, dogma without science is not true skepticism. 😀

          • OWilson

            Here’s the Mr Hyde side of Mikey’s Jeckyl/Hyde split personality.

            Random selection of posts to Discover Science Magazine blogs!, and I quote:

            “You just won’t be happy unless you see a return of fascism in your remaining years, eh?

            “Keep supporting fascism, Ol’ Wilson! We’ll keep pitying you. And laughing, but feeling bad about it, since one shouldn’t laugh at the mentally ill.

            “You may as well come out of the closet and proudly embrace your fascism.

            “You’re a shining example of humanitarianism for the rest of us. I’m proud of you, Wilson.(Hey, how did THAT get in here, Lol!)

            “My closet fascist friend

            “That would be like me calling you a fascist for being right of center, when you appear more libertarian than authoritarian in nature.(Hey how did that get in here?

            “Is it nappy time for widdle Wilson?

            “I’m tired of babysitting you. Go change your own diaper — it’s starting to stink in here.

            “Ol’ Wilson was probably a real character in grade school, likely a bully like Trump

            “Seek professional help.

            “So when are you voluntarily admitting yourself to the nearest psychiatric hospital for the treatment you so clearly need? You don’t want to force your family to make the pain

            “Kinda like a bad fungal infection.

            “Dance puppet, dance.

            “Such puppets to radical ideology are typically victims of personality defects”.

            There’s a lot more, but you get the drift! :)

            We won’t even touch on his love/hate relationship with monthly published NOAA satellite temperature data, which, as at April 30, 2018 shows a statistically insignificant warming anomaly of 0.21 degrees, over the entire 40 year record!


          • Mike Richardson

            Random!? LOL! Wow, so this is how you spend time away from the favorite watering holes? Man, that’s just a disturbing level of fixation.

            All I needed to do was pick a few quotes from this thread to show that you’re not quite the “respectful” poster you claim to be. Certainly not the long stroll down memory lane you took for various quotes, typically in response to more of your less than respectful posts, if one wanted the proper context — which further proves my point. Thank you. See, I never claimed to be polishing a halo, or portrayed myself as the innocent victim of persecution and censorship. I told you early on that I believe in reciprocity, and those quotes were hardly unprovoked, were they? 😉

            I do like that last quote, though — very apropos for a thread about water protection derailed by your indignation that someone dislikes President Trump, and could therefore not objectively test water! To employ your favorite new (and already quite ironic) meme, someone who poses as a friendly and respectful poster while also belligerently impugning the blog posters and their associations ( or, say, criticizes the actions of “godless scientists” in one post, then in the very next post proudly proclaims himself an atheist) might be a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde type himself.

          • OWilson

            A simple DISQUS search for the standard left wing radical ad hominems is not hard, and probably took me less time to compile, since you are a government employee. Lol

            “Fascist”, “mental”, “family” , “puppet”, “lackey”, and the others, is the same old language used to silence critics of dogma. from Lenin, through Mao and Stalin, right up to Trump opponents! Lol!

            Old discredited jingoism, and nothing new in the radical lexicon, except, perhaps, the addition of “denier” and “deplorables”. Lol!

            And no, Mikey, I wouldn’t trust governments or followers of that kind of rhetoric to cut my hair, never mind collect and deliver unbiased “scientific data”. Lol!

            And no, Mikey “godless” and “atheist” are not mutually exclusive and can be used interchangeably!

            Now class dismissed!

            Time for my long walk with Mother Nature.:)

          • Mike Richardson

            Well, looks like you agree that you’ve been less than “respectful” in your response to the author of the article , and you have engaged in your own name calling while hypocritically decrying others for the same. Par for the course. And then, you laughably declare yourself the victor while retreating from what most would consider a shameful display. It’s really like the proverbial chess match with the pigeon, where the bird knocks over all the pieces, poops on the board, then struts around like it’s won the match. Yes, I imagine life is good for you Wilson, as it’s said that ignorance is bliss. I believe you’ve achieved nirvana. 😉

          • OWilson

            Pigeon poops?

            No time for your trolling nonsense today!


          • Mike Richardson

            Puffed up strutting fowl do not count as “adults.”. And nobody is turning out the lights — that’s just a cover being placed over the coop so you’ll quiet down and go to sleep. Goodnight.

          • OWilson

            I’ll leave you with your new friend, then!

            As I said, all the adults have left the building!


          • Mike Richardson

            He’s no friend of mine. Unlike you, I have no problem directly confronting someone from my side of the political divide who wishes death on others. I certainly didn’t upvote any of his other comments, or express sympathy with him for dealing with “trolls.” An adult wouldn’t do that.

          • OWilson

            I’ll leave you both to turn out the lights on this dead thread!

            Bye, Mikey and T for P


          • Mike Richardson

            Actually, you didn’t. The timeline shows you came back for more attention responding to a comment that wasn’t even addressed to you. Folks in the political blogs must not be responding to your trolling. Perhaps I should do the same and cover the coop for now.

          • OWilson

            You are the one having trouble getting a response to your passive/aggressive posts, not me, Mikey.

            Check out our Disqus approval ratings!

            That’s why you follow me around like a lapdog!

            Doesn’t seem to be working for you, does it?


          • Trumpforprison2018

            you right wing vermin are fn DEAD comeNovember

          • Trumpforprison2018

            i hope your loved ones die of cancer

          • Mike Richardson

            That goes way beyond acceptable. Wilson may be obnoxious and annoying, but wishing illness and death on his family is reprehensible and has no place in this discussion. You’ve just lowered yourself below him. I disagree with him on nearly everything, and think he’s earned a great deal of ridicule and scorn, but this comment has earned my disgust and contempt.

          • OWilson

            Mikey the Moderator, Lol!

            You yourself will have to do better than “Chess, pigeon poop”, and “puffed up strutting fowl” if you ever want to aspire to a real job, Mikey!


          • Mike Richardson

            Well, we know you can’t be bothered to confront anyone who agrees with your political views when they go too far. And though you deserve ridicule for your immature behavior, I wouldn’t wish illness or death on you and your family, or suggest burning you in an oven for energy. Some of us don’t have a problem doing the right thing and condemning those who engage in that level of hateful rhetoric. It’s unfortunate you don’t seem to understand that, or that avian metaphors do not equate to wishing death on your opponents.

          • OWilson

            So can I take it you no longer think I’m a “closet Fascist”, “mentally ill”, “liar”, who’s family should have me committed to a mental institution?

            Your passive/aggressive posts are inconsistent, to say the least.


          • Mike Richardson

            Yes, a sarcastic response response to the other poster’s suggestion to do just that, which bothered you more than than the original post. Now THAT’S inconsistent! LOL!

            So you decided to come back to turn the lights back on and seek attention, only to project your own behavior, and provide yet another example of your hypocrisy. Thanks. Maybe one of these days you’ll realize that not all attention is good for you. 😉

          • OWilson

            You’re here, right. Mikey?

            You give me all the attention that I need.

            I’m quite flattered to have my very own stalker!

            Usually reserved for celebs, Lol!

          • Mike Richardson

            You replied to my post, Einstein. Your efforts at projection are far more transparent than you realize. Goodnight.

          • OWilson

            Don’t forget to turn out the lights, Mikey.

            As usual, the adults have long left the building! :)

          • Trumpforprison2018

            you right wing vermin go BYE BYE

            Democrats = 41 seats flipped since Trump was elected

            Republicans = 0

            Enjoy the Blue Tsunami!!

          • Trumpforprison2018

            trump is a rapist and sexual predator

          • OWilson

            As Slick Willie said, when he dropped his pants in front of low level State Employee Paula Corbin Jones, and ordered her to “Kiss it!”


          • Trumpforprison2018
  • OWilson

    It’s a shame when what should be a universally recognized good thing -protection of clean water, is grossly politicized, by shamelessly trotting out the usual bullfeathers that “Republicans want dirty water and dirty air”.

    7 of the top 10 U.S. Cities with the dirtiest air and water are in the Peoples Republic of California – CBS

    (Hardly a hotbed of conservatism – Lol!)


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