Water Quality Monitoring

Water quality monitoring is pivotal to our work to protect and restore the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds. It is also what sets us apart from other environmental groups.

Channelkeeper patrols the Santa Barbara Channel and its tributaries to identify pollution problems and respond to citizen reports of pollution. We also conduct regular water quality monitoring of local waterways. We collect and disseminate scientifically sound water quality data to aid decision-makers and the public in protecting local waterways, and to foster wider community awareness and involvement in protecting water quality. Regulatory agencies regularly utilize our monitoring data to target and prioritize their pollution prevention efforts, and our field investigations have identified and led to the clean-up of numerous water pollution problems.

Specific water quality monitoring programs include:

  • recruiting, training, educating and engaging volunteers to participate in our monthly Stream Team water quality sampling events to help us collect samples and measurements of various water quality parameters from more than 40 creek sampling sites in Goleta, Carpinteria and Ventura;
  • conducting weekly bacteria sampling at 12 beaches across southern Santa Barbara County from November through March (when the County no longer provides this service) and providing timely public notification of our results through various print and online media so people can avoid risking their health by recreating in polluted water; and
  • conducting pollution patrols in the field and cooperating with public agencies to identify and clean up discharges of polluted water to storm drains, creeks and beaches.