Demographic changes, tourism and leisure development or simply the growing number of residential areas have largely contributed to excessive artificial development which is now threatening the coastline.Learn more
Since 1990 Surfrider Foundation has been working on water quality issues and their consequences on users’ health. Surfrider has also implemented analytical laboratories in order to increase its knowledge regarding coastal pollution issues. To this end, water quality of recreational coastal sites is monitored alongside the action of existing networks. In doing so, Surfrider’s laboratories constitute an independent scientific database which facilitates dialogue between local stakeholders and enables to address contamination issues. These field operations also provide for the Keepers of the Coast monitoring network and feed the organization’s lobbying work.
Annual water quality monitoring of recreational areas
Sanitary surveillance of bathing water quality is carried out by officials throughout the bathing season. They organize water monitoring in collaboration with people in charge of bathing waters and relevant local authorities. Surfrider implements additional monitoring all year long to support these official tests by focusing on recreational coastal areas – surfing, windsurfing, diving, kayaking spots, which are not subject to any specific regulation.
Wishing to take one step further on the issue of emerging pollution, Surfrider has integrated the chemical factor to its monitoring network in order to better understand the origins of such pollution as well as their impacts on both the marine environment and human health. We conduct bibliographical and research work regarding sanitary risks related to chemical substances found in the environment and research the presence of hydrocarbons in coastal areas. 300 chemical analyses are carried out every year especially on hydrocarbons but also on cadmium, mercury, alkylphenols, parabens, phthalates, and fertilizers.
Coastal water activities are becoming increasingly popular. Such activities are practiced all year long on areas that are often different from bathing zones. Surfrider Foundation reckons the health and security of this group of people must be ensured to the same extent as the bathers’.
This is why Surfrider has engaged in a coordinated approach with every relevant local stakeholder to improve communication-related to the results and the investigations initiated when bacteriological thresholds are exceeded as described in the regulation. In fact, identifying the origin of contamination enables to recommend appropriate actions and consider rehabilitation works to restore the quality of the damaged area.
Restoring waters from recreational coastal sites is one of Surfrider’s key objectives. It seems therefore mandatory to focus on tomorrow’s pollutions starting today so we can understand how they will evolve in the marine environment and how threatening they are for the users’ health.