, Director of Swimmable Water Programs
Posted: January 19, 2015 at 2:02 pm

This week we are welcoming the Surfrider Foundation’s Vancouver Island Chapter to Swim Guide.

Folks, this is big and this is special. We are so lucky to have incredible water leaders like Surfrider volunteers joining our affiliates’ program.

The Surfrider Foundation: for the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves, and beaches

The first quality of a water leader is that they know their watermark. A water leader is acutely aware of their connection to our most important resource. And that connection empowers them to dedicate themselves to protecting the bodies of water that shaped them and made them who they are.

Photo by Jesse Edmonds

That right there describes the work of Surfrider volunteers.

The Surfrider Foundation was started thirty years ago by a handful of surfers who tried, and succeeded, to save their favourite break from becoming unsurfable due to excessive coastal development at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach.

Contaminated runoff from the development had made the surfers sick and environmental degradation was turning their favourite wave break into polluted mush. So they took action to protect what they love.

Today the Surfrider Foundation is one of the biggest, most accomplished, and most adept environmental non-profits in the world working for longterm protection and enjoyment of our recreational waters.

Surfrider Vancouver Island and the Blue Water Youth Task Force

Water quality information for Vancouver Island surfers from Vancouver Island Surfriders

surfriderVI-quote1b Surfrider Foundation Vancouver Island is one of two Canadian Surfrider chapters. Their mission is the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves, and beaches.

Water quality monitoring is one of Surfrider’s core activities. Their volunteer-run monitoring program, which goes by the name of the Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), has been instrumental in gathering recreational water quality information for fresh and marine waters. Data from the BWTF alerts the public to water quality issues and has also spearheaded action to address chronic water pollution problems.

What is special about Surfrider Vancouver Island’s monitoring program, the Blue Water Youth Task Force (BWYTF), is that it engages with and is managed by local youth and First Nations groups, including FUN Society kids camps, YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange, and the ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School.

The BWYTF tests the water at 12 coastal sites around Victoria B.C. as well as at 4 freshwater sites on the island. You can click here to see exactly where they are sampling. And because islanders are out playing in the water year round they test year round.

Their data in incredibly important as information about the island’s recreational waters is currently very limited in frequency as well as in scope. Many popular recreational water sites and surf spots are not tested, leaving both people and the environment vulnerable to the effects of contaminated water.

As of today Surfrider Vancouver Island’s recreational water quality data will be available on Swim Guide.

Thank you Surfrider Vancouver Island!


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* The RBC Foundation

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