State Regulators Refuse to Examine Over Six Years of Water Quality Information
No other organization has done as much to monitor the health of local streams and waterways as Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. We do so by fulfilling the role that Waterkeepers serve across the country as citizen monitors working to protect our waters from pollution and degradation. Over the past 15 years, Channelkeeper has engaged more than 1,200 volunteers and collected 86,000 water quality measurements through our Stream Team and other monitoring efforts. Our monitoring data has been used by the State to officially designate over a dozen water quality impairments in South Coast waterways. This designation is a critical step in the regulatory process required by the federal Clean Water Act to clean up impaired waterways. However, California’s recent efforts to evaluate existing data to identify water quality impairments have fallen far short. The Clean Water Act requires states to perform this evaluation and update its list of impaired waterways every two years. California is already two years behind schedule AND refuses to utilize any new water quality data collected since 2010! Last month, Channelkeeper submitted written comments, along with our last six years of Stream Team data, to the State Water Board. Our comments highlight deficiencies in their process and calls on them to comply with the Clean Water Act by adequately assessing water quality using readily available, current data. To find out how you can help us monitor water quality in local streams, learn about our Stream Team program and sign up to volunteer!