The Issue: Bacterial Pollution at Local Beaches
According to the National Resources Defense Council, there were more than 24,000 beach closings and advisories in the United States in 2010, indicating high levels of bacterial pollution that exceed health and safety standards. Despite the risks involved with urban runoff and oil spills, the Environmental Protection Agency cut its $9.9 million beach-grant program to fund water-safety inspections, citing the “difficult financial climate.” Without beach monitoring, swimmers and surfers cannot determine when or where it is safe to swim, putting their health at risk and impacting tourist-based economies.
The Campaign: Water-Quality Tests for Local Beaches
If this Grassroots campaign raises $210, then the Surfrider Foundation can perform 30 water-quality tests at local beaches to inform visitors about water safety and levels of bacterial pollution. Surfrider activist volunteers conduct these tests by mixing ocean water with a special reagent, incubating it, and examining it under black light. Each additional $7 raised will fund another water-quality test.
To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon will provide a $1,000 kickoff grant to this campaign.
The Surfrider Foundation was born out of personal passion overlapping a glaring need. In 1984, three surfers faced the prospect of losing their favorite wave. Instead of lying down in the sand, they stood up and fought to keep this perfect California wave intact. Today, that impassioned spirit pervades the entire Surfrider organization, which has since grown to include 90 chapters, 28 labs, and a network of more than 250,000 activists in 18 countries around the world. At each outpost, volunteers work with local environmental policy makers and community leaders to protect the beaches and waves from pollution. Their programs range from water testing, to protecting beach access, to eliminating plastics from the marine environment, to advocating for national laws such as the Beach Act of 2000—all to preserve the oceans and beaches for future generations.