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 30+ 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. The Port Orford Blue Water Task Force is a collaborative effort between Surfrider Foundation's Coos Bay Chapter, Redfish Rocks Community Team (RRCT), Port Orford/Langlois School District 2CJ, and community volunteers. Eight local community members volunteer one day a month to collect water samples from nine different monitoring sites. Volunteers then bring the samples to our local school. Students from the Port Orford/Lanlois School District 2CJ conduct the water sample testing at an in-class lab and post the results. Surfrider & RRCT staff coordinate the BWTF throughout the year and provide water sampling and lab testing presentations to the students and volunteers. The Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve Community Team works with the BWTF program and partners to expand upon other monitoring efforts and to provide citizen-science opportunities in and around the local marine reserve. It's a beautiful thing when people come together to learn new skills and share information for the betterment of the community and its natural resources! For more information about Surfrider Foundation's Coos Bay Chapter, go to coosbay.surfrider.org. Contact Ryan at RCruse@surfrider.org for more information about the Blue Water Task Force.
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