The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is the Surfrider Foundation’s citizen science program which provides valuable water quality information to beach communities, raises awareness of local water pollution problems and works collaboratively with local stakeholders to implement solutions. Surfrider’s network of volunteer-run BWTF labs measure bacteria levels at ocean and bay beaches and in freshwater sources, and compare them to the national water quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency to protect public health in recreational waters. Surfrider began monitoring water quality on Eastern Long Island in 2013 in partnership with the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Peconic Baykeeper, and Dr. Christopher Gobler's lab at Stonybrook Southampton Testing is performed year-round at ocean and bay beaches, freshwater ponds and creeks. This joint water testing program augments the seasonal beach water quality monitoring program conducted by the Suffolk County Department of Health, providing Enterococcus bacteria results at recreational beaches and coastal waterways year-round.
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