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Teach & Test: A Blue Water Task Force Initiative

Our Science-Based Approach to Education

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.

Teach and Test – Water Quality Monitoring

As part of Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force initiative, our student-centered Teach & Test program monitors ocean water bacteria levels at local beaches to protect public health while at the beach. 

The goal of the program is to involve the local community and raise awareness of the environmental challenges we confront at our South Bay beaches. By doing so we hope to reduce our environmental impacts and improve the quality of our community. 

sample processing

Why Water Testing Is Important

Students participating in our Teach & Test Program monitor ocean water bacteria levels (Enterococcus) at our local beaches. Throughout the school year, students coordinate with dedicated Surfrider activists to collect water samples from various South Bay beach locations and the Ballona Wetlands.

The water samples are then analyzed by students at the Lab at Dive N’ Surf in Redondo Beach under the oversight of our experienced Teach and Test Coordinator. The Waste Characterization Study generates critical data and helps us clean our beaches.

Real World Impact

By involving public school students and the local community to raise awareness of the real environmental challenges at our local beaches, the ultimate desired outcome is to reduce our environmental impacts and improve the quality of our community. The data gathered is posted on the web and on special occasions presented to city leaders to address the problem of trash on the streets, at the beach, and in the ocean.

The South Bay chapter's Blue Water Task Force Teach and Test program is a massive collaborative effort between chapter volunteers, students, and faculty supervisors from the following schools: Parras Middle School, Palos Verdes High School, El Segundo High School, Mira Costa High School, Redondo Union High School, West High School, Adams MS, & Lawndale High School. Samples are collected and brought back to our lab space, generously provided by Dive N' Surf shop in Redondo Beach.

Mayor Drew

View Your Local Water Quality

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Water quality testing provided by Surfrider's {{}} Chapter

Everyone deserves access to clean water to surf, swim, dive  and frolic in.

Meet the Blue Water Task Force Coastal Defenders

Blue Water Task Force Water Quality Information & Resources

Important - Please Read

The Teach and Test BWTF Program and related events are designed and structured for secondary school and college students and are solely volunteer-led.  This Blue Water Task Force program is part of Surfrider Foundation's Clean Water initiative and is not an extension of any school sanctioned program.  Due to limited volunteer availability and Laboratory space on site at the Dive n' Surf shop, student participation at these events is carefully regulated. All participants are required to sign in and submit a liability waiver. Middle school students’ parents/guardians must check-in and remain with their child for the duration of the event.   While safeguarding controls have been enforced for the security of all in attendance, the Surfrider Foundation and its volunteers are not responsible for the direct supervision of any participating student.