Event Title

Monitoring of Enterococcus in Bellingham Bay Through Citizen Science

Presentation Abstract

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.

Session Title

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

Conference Track

Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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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.