A day at the beach is the best. It really is.

Swim Guide is all about helping you find your swimmable water. And while our main goal is to prevent people from getting sick from swimming in contaminated water, the driving force behind our mission is that people love to swim. We want to make it easy for people to get to the beach and enjoy the water with their family and friends.

When it comes to swimmable water, ensuring that people can find and access the beaches and waterways in their watersheds is just as crucial as public access to current water quality information. That’s what Swim Guide is all about and we wholeheartedly applaud the Beach Finder App that California’s Coastal Commission is currently developing.

Photo by Karen Ybanez

The Beach Finder app, set to launch in June, 2015, is part of Sean Parker’s $2.5 million settlement with the Commission for Coastal Violations. The settlement includes a $1.5 million donation to nonprofits to enhance public access and recreation opportunities in Big Sur, and to help with the conservation of natural resources on the North West Coast.

The State of California recognizes how integral the coastal waters and beaches are to its population. In 1976 the public was guaranteed access to all 1700 km (1,100 miles) of California’s coast. And in 2013 the California Legislature adopted a resolution to officially commemorate July 25 as “Swimmable California Day,” recognizing Californians’ right to waters that are clean and safe for swimming.

However, for many Californians, and for people with lower income in particular, it can be very difficult to access the coastline for a day at the beach. Beachfront residents attempt to hide beach entrances or mislead the public with fake signs and markers claiming areas as private property.

The proposed Beach Finder app is part of a bigger plan to ensure the public can find and access their beaches and enjoy the magic of a day in the Pacific surf.

Photo by Brian Bennett

California Waterkeepers

California beaches are the most popular Swim Guide sites in the US.

Swim Guide’s affiliates from the California Coastkeeper Alliance are doing phenomenal work on protecting and preserving California’s coast and inland waterways so that the public can enjoy clean, healthy waters. California waterkeepers provide current water quality and beach information for California coastal beaches as well as for California’s coast hidden gems: riverfront beaches. The Russian and Klamath rivers, complete with sand and grand swimming opportunities, are just two of many freshwater sites for those looking for a pine-scented day at the beach.

These organizations also do a heck of a job encouraging people to get to the beach, coasts and rivers and celebrate clean water. A few days to mark on your calendar in 2015 are “Stand-up for Clean Water” (April 18th in Los Angeles),“Swimmable California Day” (July 25th) and Coastal Cleanup Day (September 19th).

San Diego CoastkeeperSan Diego Coastkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the waters in San Diego County. In addition to their legal work, San Diego Coastkeeper has a number of events and volunteer opportunities for local, where they can enjoy and help protect their waters at the same time. There are a long list of events and volunteers to check out, like their impressive Water Quality Monitoring program and the San Diego Bay Debris Study. Their water conservation programs are particularly timely.
Orange County CoastkeeperOrange County Coastkeeper (Coastkeeper) is a steward of Orange County’s fresh and saltwater ecosystems. They work with diverse groups in the public and private sectors to achieve healthy, accessible, and sustainable water resources for the county. Their W.H.A.L.E.S. program (Watershed Heroes- Actions Linking Education to Stewardship) is in a class of its own when it come to fostering environmental stewardship and community involvement in junior high and high school students. Coastkeeper Garden will help you set up a sustainable, drought-tolerant garden.
Los Angeles WaterkeeperL.A. Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore Santa Monica Bay, San Pedro Bay, and local waters through enforcement, fieldwork, and community action. L.A. Waterkeeper has a number of awesome avenues for locals to take action and get involved with the protection of L.A. waters like Stand-up for Clean Water (SPLASH), Kelp restoration dives, and MPA Watch.
Santa Barbara ChannelkeeperSanta Barbara Channelkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds through science-based advocacy, education, fieldwork and enforcement. They have some great opportunities to work with Channelkeeper on local water issues. They also a number of Volunteer-based Water Quality Monitoring Programs for coast sites and creeks, like Stream Team. There are also some amazing events and opportunities in Marine Protected Areas.
Russian RiverkeeperRussian Riverkeeper’s mission is the conservation and protection of the Russian River’s mainstem, tributaries and watershed through public education, citizen action, scientific research and expert advocacy. They could use your help with riparian restoration projects in stunning river settings. It will help get you in shape for the Great Russian River Race!!
Humboldt BaykeeperHumboldt Baykeeper’s mission is to safeguard coastal resources for the health, enjoyment, and economic strength of the Humboldt Bay community through education, scientific research, and enforcement of laws to fight pollution. They have an exciting line up of opportunities such as the Citizen Water Monitor Program, Coastal Cleanups, and the King Tide Photo Initiative. Want to get involved?
Klamath RiverkeeperKlamath Riverkeeper restores water quality and fisheries throughout the Klamath watershed, bringing vitality and abundance back to the river and its people. They have great opportunities for the public to participate in the protection and restoration of the watershed, such as their flagship campaign Un-Dam the Klamath, the Tribal empowerment & the Klamath Justice Coalition (KJC), and a Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Program.

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Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

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