Hawaiʻi Region

Blue Water Task Force

Citizen-Science Water Quality Monitoring

The Blue Water Task Force (BWTF), is the Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer-run, water testing, education and advocacy program. This nationwide program provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Hawaii Chapters use this program to alert citizens and officials in their communities about water quality problems and to work toward solutions.

Surfrider Foundation Chapter labs measure fecal indicator bacteria levels in recreational waters and compare those results to local water quality standards. This data helps fill in the gaps and extend the coverage of Hawaii Department of Health’s beach monitoring program by sampling ocean beaches, bay beaches, and potential freshwater sources of pollution such as stormwater outlets and streams that discharge onto the beach. In 2021, Surfrider Foundation launched its STOP Sewage Pollution program to raise awareness about the impact of sewage spills and failing wastewater infrastructure on coastal water quality.

Find Your Local BWTF Lab

Our Hawaii Chapters maintain four active Blue Water Task Force labs including Kauai, Oahu, and Maui. To view recent water quality readings or learn more about the Chapter-specific programs, click on the links below to connect with your local Chapter’s BWTF lab.

Can You Surf After It Rains?

TIP: Do not go in the water for up to 72 hours after a big rainfall. These rain events cause upstream waste, pathogens, and toxins to flow into our ocean and increases your risk of infection and illness.

Not all areas are created equal. Some places are worse due to their proximity to storm drains and land-based outflows, like Ala Moana Bowls on Oahu. If you do enter the water after a rain, make sure you wash off with fresh water as soon as you get out and take a shower when you get home.

Blue Water Task Force Information