Type of Presentation

Snapshot

Session Title

People and Engagement

Description

The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) program is a hands-on, citizen science, volunteer program. The program is driven by the desire of Surfrider members and recreational users to test water quality throughout the world. The Northwest Straits Chapter, in Bellingham, WA, continues to grow and expand local testing to suit the needs of its community. This program not only provides important laboratory experience opportunities for college students, but also aides in Salish Sea recovery by helping to identify, raise awareness, and address pollution within the Sound. Over the past several years the Northwest Strait’s BWTF sites, testing for enterococcus, have ranked poorly for Whatcom County, often the worst in Washington State, or in some years, the worst BWTF-tested sites in the country. The Northwest Straits has been building their citizen science program to help identify and correct sources of enterococcus. An example of success is Larrabee State Park in Bellingham Bay, where college students sample water quality while doing education and outreach as part of the Larrabee Water Quality Stewards Program. This program, with its many partners, has been able to identify low-tech solutions to improving water quality. This year, the Northwest Straits Surfrider chapter is taking their program further by empowering college students to systematically assess each of their seven BWTF sites in Whatcom County to identify pollution patterns and find solutions to improve marine water quality for recreationists. This volunteer-run citizen science program has grown over the last 11 years to an ever-stronger program to train young and upcoming scientists in water quality and provides the added benefits of both education and outreach along with actively finding solutions to improve local water quality to keep our beaches open and safe for recreation.

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Recreational users update their program to test water quality at popular beaches and tackle barriers to incorporate citizen science into monitoring and education

2016SSEC

The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) program is a hands-on, citizen science, volunteer program. The program is driven by the desire of Surfrider members and recreational users to test water quality throughout the world. The Northwest Straits Chapter, in Bellingham, WA, continues to grow and expand local testing to suit the needs of its community. This program not only provides important laboratory experience opportunities for college students, but also aides in Salish Sea recovery by helping to identify, raise awareness, and address pollution within the Sound. Over the past several years the Northwest Strait’s BWTF sites, testing for enterococcus, have ranked poorly for Whatcom County, often the worst in Washington State, or in some years, the worst BWTF-tested sites in the country. The Northwest Straits has been building their citizen science program to help identify and correct sources of enterococcus. An example of success is Larrabee State Park in Bellingham Bay, where college students sample water quality while doing education and outreach as part of the Larrabee Water Quality Stewards Program. This program, with its many partners, has been able to identify low-tech solutions to improving water quality. This year, the Northwest Straits Surfrider chapter is taking their program further by empowering college students to systematically assess each of their seven BWTF sites in Whatcom County to identify pollution patterns and find solutions to improve marine water quality for recreationists. This volunteer-run citizen science program has grown over the last 11 years to an ever-stronger program to train young and upcoming scientists in water quality and provides the added benefits of both education and outreach along with actively finding solutions to improve local water quality to keep our beaches open and safe for recreation.