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Blue Water Task Force water sample with Marina Park written on it


Our BWTF program is focused on supplementing the testing that the County of Ventura conducts as a part of its Ocean Water Quality Testing Program.

Please note that our season runs November through March. We do not test water quality April through October because the County of Ventura resumes testing at 40 beaches. 

Water Quality Information & Resources

Local Water Quality Resources

  • CLICK HERE for the latest water quality testing results from the County of Ventura Ocean Water Quality Testing Program
  • CLICK HERE for information on the City of Ventura beaches monitored by Ventura County Environmental Health Division’s Ocean Water Quality Program
  • CLICK HERE for a form if you've experienced illness from swimming at one of our local beaches
  • CLICK HERE for guidelines on CA Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs).  The CA HABs portal is the central resource for HABs in the state of California. HABs can pose a health risk to people and animals, harm aquatic ecosystems, and limit the use of drinking and recreational water bodies due to the toxins, odors, and scums or mats they can produce. We need your help citing freshwater algae blooms in our county!
Jen Holding Sample BWTF
View Your Local Water Quality
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Water quality testing provided by Surfrider's {{}} Chapter

About the Program

The Blue Water Task Force is Surfrider’s volunteer water quality monitoring program that provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Surfrider chapters use this program to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions.

Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) labs measure fecal indicator bacteria levels in recreational waters and compare them to water quality standards set to protect public health. Chapter-run BWTF programs fill in the gaps and extend the coverage of agency-run beach monitoring programs by sampling ocean and bay beaches, estuaries and potential freshwater sources of pollution such as stormwater outlets, rivers and creeks that discharge onto the beach.

Foothill Technology High School student documenting water sample attributes
Map view of at 9 test locations including Mondos, Emmawood State Beach, C Street, Weymouth, Marina Park, Leo Robbins, Harbor Cove, Hollywood Beach at La Crescenta, and Oxnard Beach at Outrigger Way

Ventura County Water Quality

The Ventura BWTF program is focused on supplementing the County of Ventura's testing as a part of its Ocean Water Quality Testing Program. Currently, the county-led program tests fewer samples in the winter than in the summer; our program aims to fill the gap and serve as the first response to local water quality threats in our community. Specifically, we are focused on taking samples from 13 popular surf spots that are not tested by the County during winter months. While there may be fewer beachgoers overall in the winter months, there are more surfers in the water due to winter storm swells that are being exposed to pollution brought to the beach by stormwater and urban runoff.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Feel comfortable in the ocean: We'll be sampling in waves up to knee or thigh level, depending on your height. We also face winter winds, waves, and cold water temperatures, so it's important to be in good physical condition.
  • Have reliable transportation: to our designated drop-off site. Bikes are okay if the sampling location is close by, but you should have alternative transportation options for wet weather.
  • Stay connected: We use email, text, and Surfrider platforms like Golden Volunteer and Google Drive to schedule sampling and lab work. You'll also need to use mobile phone apps to check wave, tide, and water/air temperatures.
  • Be a resident of Ventura County: Our program is focused on protecting Ventura County's waterways, so we ask that you be a local resident.
  • Commit to our schedule: We ask that you attend a training meeting in late October, participate in in-water training, and be available for at least 4 months out of the 5-month season. You can choose to participate in Thursday morning sampling sessions for about an hour, or you can choose to work in the lab on Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

View the 2022/23 Blue Water Task Force Annual Report here and find info about new DNA source tracking here.

Everyone deserves access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. Support our efforts by contacting


This program is made possible through generous funding in memory of Chuck Vinson and Patagonia USA.