MISSION

INCREASE AWARENESS OF, AND IMPROVE, LOCAL WATER QUALITY BY ENGAGING YOUTH IN BLUE WATER TASK FORCE, SURFRIDER’S CITIZEN WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM.

Approach

Create an educational water quality monitoring and advocacy program that teaches students about the importance of water quality and provides them with hands-on lab experience and an opportunity to affect positive change in their community by raising awareness of local water quality and sharing solutions on ways it can be improved.

After successfully securing a Whale Tail Grant, we were able to set up a water quality testing lab that allows Santa Monica High School students to test bacteria levels at their local beaches. Every week students share their results by posting their findings at local surf shops and cafes via informational boards they created, as well as engaging in regular media outreach when bacteria levels get dangerous. Students share their findings along with ideas for improving water quality by delivering regularly presentations to community members as well as peers at neighboring schools.

Results

Since 2010, more than 300 students at Santa Monica High School have participated in the Teach & Test program, securing numerous awards, including the Edison Challenge, for their environmental leadership.

In 2012, Santa Monica High School students, the local Surfrider Chapter and I helped Palisades High School acquire a lab of their own and with training from the Santa Monica High Students, they are now regularly testing and sharing their findings as well as advocating for local solutions.

For more information, watch this video.