The SLO chapter’s Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) implements Surfrider’s water test, education, and advocacy program at beaches in SLO County.

Ten volunteers collect weekly samples from 15 local ocean and creek sites where residents surf and swim. These samples are tested for the presence of human waste at our laboratory in the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach. Test results are posted on our chapter website so that residents can choose safe locations and times to enjoy the ocean. This data is also used to lobby for county policy changes, because without numbers to back up the need for clean water efforts, nothing happens at the government level.

Currently, our sites extend from Pismo Beach to the Cayucos Pier. Samples are collected early on Thursday mornings so that the results can be posted by midday Friday, which maximizes the usefulness of the results for the majority of the people who use the beach and ocean. No background in biology or science is required. New volunteers train by accompanying an experienced volunteer on two Thursdays and can usually collect and prepare samples on their own. Volunteers do need reliable transportation.

If you are interested in helping ensure that residents of the Central Coast have access to clean water contact Niel Dilworth, BWTF Program Coordinator, at bwtf@slo.surfrider.org