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Three Capes Chapter Adds New Water Quality Monitoring Sites

Surfrider Foundation is stoked to announce a new partnership with the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) on a joint effort to add six new water quality monitoring sites focusing on beaches and the ocean. 

The Three Capes Chapter collected their first water samples on Wednesday, March 16th. Samples will be collected every other Wednesday by Surfrider volunteers and processed by TEP. The current testing sites are:

  • Ocean - Cape Kiwanda Parking Lot
  • Cape Kiwanda Stormwater Pipe
  • McPhillips Beach
  • Tierra Del Mar Access
  • Ocean - Tierra Del Mar Residential

The chapter hopes to add a site in Oceanside once volunteer capacity is increased. 

Three Capes BWTF sample sites (blue pins)

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership established the Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program (VWQMP), in 1997, to monitor bacteria concentrations in streams, rivers, and estuaries throughout Tillamook County. The data collected by TEP's citizen scientist volunteers are used to determine if waterways are safe for recreational uses such as swimming and fishing. The ongoing monitoring effort includes 73 sites throughout the County. This new partnership will add an additional 6 sites on beaches and in the ocean. While monitoring shows that improvements have been made at some locations, water quality problems remain in many of the watersheds.

The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) provides critical water quality information to protect public health at the beach. Surfrider chapters use this volunteer water testing program to raise awareness of local pollution problems and to bring together communities to implement solutions. Surfrider currently hosts seven BWTF labs on the Oregon coast and processes an average of 500 samples at 53 sites spanning from Seaside south to Port Orford. 

Collecting a sample from the Cape Kiwanda Stormwater Pipe

“For years, Pacific City residents have been asking us to test water quality in their community, but we did not have the capacity,” said Bri Goodwin, Oregon Field Manager for Surfrider Foundation. “This new partnership with TEP allows us to combine our capacities and make sure ocean recreational users know the water quality at their local beach.”

The Three Capes Chapter is currently recruiting volunteers to collect water samples every other Wednesday. If you’d like to learn more about getting involved, reach out to Lisa at