Northern Ventura County Coastal Watersheds Risk Assessment of Transported Metals

This project is being conducted on behalf of Patagonia, the Surfrider Foundation Ventura County Chapter, and other local community groups. This project will assess the risk to surfers and beach-goers from heavy metal contamination found in stormwater runoff downstream of oil fields on the northern Ventura County coast. This knowledge is critical for the estimated 500,000 people that frequenting this shoreline, and swim, surf, and fish in these waters each year. The collected data will be of additional value to coastal researchers and geomorphologists, and provide evidence of water quality impacts from oil field infrastructure in the region. If appreciable risks are detected, this information can give local agencies and nonprofit organizations leverage to help protect public health and beneficial uses of water resources. The project research will begin in June 2015 and extend through the following winter when storm samples will be collected.

Coastal watershed discharging sediment rich runoff into the Pacific Ocean near Mondos Beach during a 2014 winter storm event.

Coastal watershed discharging sediment rich runoff into the Pacific Ocean near Mondos Beach during a 2014 winter storm event.