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December 08, 2010

WiLDCOAST Helps Educate Ocean Users

by hosting succesful workshop in south San Diego
Imperial Beach Pier during a beach closure

Over 45 local Imperial Beach and south San Diego residents turned out last night for the Ocean Water Quality workshop hosted by WiLDCOAST and the Tijuana Estuary. Lisa Hazard and Amanda Dillon staff scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography explained a crucial real-time monitoring tool known as the Plume Tracker. This online tool tracks through gauges and sensors the direction of Tijuana River flow once it enters the ocean. With this tool users are able to determine the projected path of the effluent from the river.

Ewan Moffat from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health explained the steps that help make the determination of opening/closing the beach.

Captain Robert Stabenow was the last presenter who detailed the field observations and odor tests that are important components in the beach closure process. He also addressed common misconceptions that many long-time Imperial Beach surfers have and; the need to identify the mysterious source of dry whether odors that have plagued Imperial Beach during the summer in the last couple of years.

Workshop attendees walked away with great tools to help them understand the process behind a beach closure, the steps the Department of Environmental Health and the IB Lifeguards make before opening or closing the beach and a very important online tool developed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography "I really learned a lot today" said Kyle Knox, IB native and pro surfer, "I am really glad we have access now to these tools".