The Teach & Test Program monitors the bacteria levels of our local ocean water in
order to raise awareness and improve water quality in the South Bay area.
The Teach and Test Program monitors the bacteria levels of our local ocean water in order to raise awareness and improve water quality in the South Bay area. The goal of the program is to involve the local community and raise awareness of the environmental challenges in front of us ~ the results and the cause. By doing so we can adjust our mindset and behaviors to improve our environmental impact, making our community better for everyone and generations to come.
Throughout the school year, October to May, students from 5 local High Schools (LMU, El Segundo, Mira Costa, Redondo Union and South High) coordinate with dedicated Surfrider Activists (their trained Team Captain), and collect bi-weekly water samples from 15 South Bay beaches & as well as the Ballona Creek Wetlands (3/school). The water samples are analyzed at the SEA or LMU lab with the oversight of an experienced lab tech. We engage in a program relevant field trip and interactive parties throughout the year. The El Segundo and RUHS science teachers have incorporated this program into their students required curriculum for the year.
We've teamed up with the Redondo Union HS students and science teacher to conduct a
Waste Characterization Study. Trash is collected at the beach where water samples are taken, then sorted in the lab to determine where the trash came from (i.e. food wrappers, foam containers, bottles and sports items). The plan is reduce the re-accumulation of trash on our beaches ~ eliminate litter at the source! We create the mess, so we can be the ones to stop it. We've received an additional grant for the 2010-2011 program to expand this program to include an additional trash collection site.
Each year at the end of the program students present their findings as well as creative ways to improve the results – 1 Teach & Test team from each school. NRDC's 2009 report "Testing the Waters 2009" found record beach closures due to polluted water to still be a big problem. Also, an article published by the LA Times on 8/30/10, stated that CA water health testing is way down compared to it was in recent years (down 50%
since 2005), not because of less pollution, but due to lack of funding. That's why this Teach and Test program is as important as ever in an effort to monitor bacteria levels in our own backyard – at our beaches and raise local awareness to any concerning results.
There are an array of volunteer positions available – if you're interested in getting involved, we'll find a place for you based on your interest and availability.