The Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation Blue-Water Task Force is a volunteer-run, water-testing, education and advocacy program. Our goal is simple: to monitor and protect the areas where we want to play. Because hey, who wants to get sick from playing in the ocean?

The task force has demonstrated success by identifying problems with beach and coastal water pollution, raising public awareness of these incidents, and working collaboratively with local stakeholders to find and implement solutions to the pollution causing poor water quality. The result: at the local level, sewer and stormwater improvements, particularly in the Nye Beach basin; at the state level, government water-quality monitoring programs. Where there are gaps in these government programs, Surfrider continues to fill in data gaps, improving the public’s knowledge of the safety of their beach water.

Blue-Water Task Force water-testing programs measure bacteria levels at both marine and freshwater beaches and compare them to federal water-quality standards established by the EPA to protect public health in recreational waters. Our trained lab volunteers and youth help run the analysis of the samples in the lab, incubating them for 24 hours and posting the results the following day on our National Blue Water Task Force site.

The Newport Chapter runs two programs and labs:

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