Blue Water Task Force

Peconic Baykeeper is a proud member of the Eastern Long Island chapter of the Blue Water Task Force, a volunteer-run water quality monitoring and testing program managed by The Surfrider Foundation. This program identifies any potential problems with pollution we may face in our coastal waters, which allows us to be proactive in protecting our local waterways.

Peconic Baykeeper collects water samples year-round (weekly during the summer months) at various beaches on the East End, including Ponquogue Beach, Ponquogue Bridge Marine Park, and Meschutt Beach. Test results are posted on Fridays to our Facebook  and Instagram accounts. Historical and current data can also be found on the Blue Water Task Force website.


Why Is This Important?

The samples we take from our local beaches get tested for Enterococcus, a coli form bacterium that indicates fecal pollution (human or animal waste) and other pathogens that can lead to skin irritation and illness in people and pets. Fecal pollution also acts as a fertilizer for toxic algal blooms that are dangerous for people, pets, and wildlife. Before heading to the beach, check the above links for the most recent test results and warnings.

What Have We Learned?

In 2017, The Surfrider Foundation’s Eastern Long Island Chapter released “What’s In Your Water?,” an analysis of their four years of water quality testing on the East End. They found:

  • Bacteria levels tend to be higher in creeks and in closed, still bodies of water than at open ocean and bay beaches.
  • Bacteria levels are higher during summer months (June-October).
  • Higher bacteria levels are measured after rain events
Lake Agawam
Lake Agawam

How Can You Stay Safe?

Surfrider offers the following tips to protect yourself and your family from getting sick at the beach:

  1. Only swim at ocean or bay beaches with lifeguards on duty.
  2. Avoid swimming 24-48 hours after it rains, especially in ponds and enclosed bay and lake sites.
  3. Keep your kids out of streams and runoff at the beach.
  4. Never enter the water where Blue-Green Algae Bloom signs are posted. Don’t let your dogs in the water either!
  5. Rinse with freshwater before you eat or leave the beach.