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California Holds First Coastwide Water Quality Monitoring Event

Release Date: 5/16/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

SAN FRANCISCO -- Volunteers will spend Saturday, May 17, sampling the water of California= s coastal rivers, streams and ocean in the state's first Coastwide Snapshot Day.

Snapshot Day, a one-day, simultaneous water quality monitoring event, brings together trained volunteers to collect important information about the health of coastal waters flowing into the Pacific ocean from Crescent City to San Diego.

In collaboration with the California Coastal Commission, the Coastal Watershed Council and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded $30,000 toward the project, along with an additional $130,000 Clean Water Act grant provided by the state.

A This effort provides water quality information that the state of California has never had,@ said Catherine Kuhlman, the acting Water Division director for the EPA = s Pacific Southwest office. A By involving people directly in monitoring activities they gain a sense of ownership and responsibility to keep their waterways clean. @

Today less than 5 percent of California = s rivers and streams are monitored on a regular basis. Over 500 water bodies will be sampled. Temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen will be measured. Collected samples will be sent to the EPA = s laboratory for analysis of nutrients and bacteria levels.

Information on the number of sites monitored and the number of volunteers will be posted on the California Coastal Commission = s Web site on Monday. Monitoring results will be available after full analysis in the Fall.

For more information on Snapshot Day, visit