Blue Water Task Force Water Testing Program: Surfrider Foundation Eastern Long Island Chapter & Concerned Citizens of Montauk

 The Eastern Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk have joined forces to initiate water quality testing at some of the most popular swimming and surfing beaches on Eastern Long Island.  The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.  The Eastern Long Island (ELI) Chapter covers the area from Moriches Inlet to Montauk Point.  Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) is also a non-profit environmental organization that works to preserve and protect the unique environment and ecology of Montauk through education, advocacy, and grassroots citizen action.

 This collaborative water testing program began in June 2013, and is run entirely by trained, local volunteers. Water samples are collected weekly and following major rain events from sites along Ditch Plain Beach and from Lake Montauk near South Lake Beach.  Water samples are processed at a water testing laboratory located at the CCOM office.  Tests are performed to determine bacteria levels in the water using EPA approved methodology that is likewise used by state and county beach programs across the country to manage beaches and to protect public health.  Our testing protocols and laboratory operations also benefit from oversight by a professional, trained in water quality testing and evaluation.

 Water quality results are available for public view on the Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force web site (http://www.surfrider.org/blue-water-task-force/chapter/37 ).  A link to the test results is also posted on both CCOM’s (http://www.Preservemontauk.org/ ) and the ELI Chapter’s websites (https://easternli.surfrider.org/programs/ ).

 The purpose of this water testing program is to raise public and governmental awareness of the environmental challenges confronting our community.  Montauk is a beach town and much or our lives and livelihoods revolve around the beach and the ocean.  Recreational activities such as swimming, surfing, and fishing, business interests such as commercial fishing and our tourism industries are all dependent upon clean water and clean beaches.  The water quality data generated by this testing program will better inform surfers, swimmers and families of the condition of the water at their favorite beaches. Surfrider and CCOM also hope that by generating more awareness of local water quality issues our community and local governments will play important roles in improving the cleanliness and quality of our environment.

 Both Surfrider and CCOM have numerous opportunities for people who wish to volunteer their time to help to preserve and protect our environment.  Please use our web sites to let us know if you wish to become involved with any or our environmental activities.