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 about 50 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's Oahu Chapter operates it's BWTF program with the goal of protecting public health at the beach. Unfortunately, a number of sources of pollution affects coastal waterways including cesspools, stormwater runoff, and pollution from agricultural sources. Please read the blog below written by Christina Comfort that explains the Oahu Blue Water Task Force program.
The Hawaii Department of Health monitors beaches on Oahu for bacterial indicators of fecal pollution, but they cannot cover every public beach or coastal access site. To help meet this public health need, the Oahu Chapter has re-launched our Blue Water Task Force water testing program to extend the coverage of monitoring efforts with citizen science. Basically we are helping to provide water quality information at more beaches, more often, so beachgoers and those who love to swim, surf, paddle and play in the water have the information they need to avoid getting sick.