Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Shoreline Monitoring: Citizen Science, Restoration Effectiveness, and Data Integration

Description

Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is a citizen science program that is supported by Surfrider Foundation volunteers on both coasts of the United States. The Northwest Straits Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been collecting water samples at several beaches in Bellingham for ten years. The water samples are tested for enterococcus, an indicator for the presence of fecal bacteria that could be pathogenic. Students from Western Washington University are one of the main sources of volunteers for BWTF and this program gives them an opportunity to gain experience in both field and lab environments. The samples collected by volunteers provide the public with information about the health safety of beaches throughout Bellingham Bay. The data is being analyzed to draw conclusions about the causes of high enterococcus counts on beaches in Bellingham. Two programs are being used to analyze the samples: R and Excel. For each beach, geometric means are calculated for each site, and wet and dry months. Analysis will help determine to what extent factors such as seasonality and urbanization play in enterococcus counts. Volunteers are the primary force behind BWTF. Setting up a straightforward data management system is another goal of this project, so volunteers can easily input data and understand how it compares to previous enterococcus counts. Analyzing the ten years of enterococcus counts and establishing a data management system will allow future volunteers to more easily monitor enterococcus trends and follow up on outliers.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Monitoring of Enterococcus in Bellingham Bay Through Citizen Science

2016SSEC

Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is a citizen science program that is supported by Surfrider Foundation volunteers on both coasts of the United States. The Northwest Straits Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has been collecting water samples at several beaches in Bellingham for ten years. The water samples are tested for enterococcus, an indicator for the presence of fecal bacteria that could be pathogenic. Students from Western Washington University are one of the main sources of volunteers for BWTF and this program gives them an opportunity to gain experience in both field and lab environments. The samples collected by volunteers provide the public with information about the health safety of beaches throughout Bellingham Bay. The data is being analyzed to draw conclusions about the causes of high enterococcus counts on beaches in Bellingham. Two programs are being used to analyze the samples: R and Excel. For each beach, geometric means are calculated for each site, and wet and dry months. Analysis will help determine to what extent factors such as seasonality and urbanization play in enterococcus counts. Volunteers are the primary force behind BWTF. Setting up a straightforward data management system is another goal of this project, so volunteers can easily input data and understand how it compares to previous enterococcus counts. Analyzing the ten years of enterococcus counts and establishing a data management system will allow future volunteers to more easily monitor enterococcus trends and follow up on outliers.