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Water quality

From its creation in 1990, Surfrider Foundation Europe has been specialised in monitoring and analysing water quality.

From its creation in 1990, Surfrider Foundation Europe has been specialised in monitoring and analysing water quality. Through our committed work with all local actors, Surfrider Europe aims to improve communication regarding results themselves while also helping to conduct investigations when legal limits for bacteria levels are exceeded. The many tests performed in our laboratory network provide Surfrider Europe with advanced expertise.




sites monitored


samples taken / year

Reclaiming waters for water sports

Water sports at the coast are a growing practice. People can take part in them all year round, and they usually involve different areas than those used for swimming. For Surfrider Foundation Europe, the health and safety of water sports aficionados must be safeguarded to the same extent as those of swimmers. To this end, Surfrider Europe is developing four?programmes to address water quality in areas used for these activities.

Sunscreens: impact on the ocean and health

Whether they have chemical or mineral filters, we know that sunscreens have an impact on ecosystems, including corals. More research is needed to understand the full effects on the environment and our health. Faced with the increase in the number of sunscreens sold in Europe and the many questions arising from their use, Surfrider Foundation has decided to address these issues.

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CURL: Analyzing surfers’ exposure to chemical pollution in the ocean

Are surfers endangering their health while practicing their favorite activity? The ocean is polluted by chemicals, but there is currently no study showing their consequences on our body. The CURL project aims to assess swimmers’ and surfers’ level of exposure to chemical pollutants.

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Healthy Waters

Water quality, an environmental and health issue

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Chemical pollution

Chemical pollution is generated by the release of chemical products from both industrial and domestic sources and can result from the use of pesticides, detergents or heavy metals. Currently, chemical pollution is still not taken into account in bathing water quality control,yet it poses a major risk to both human and marine life.

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Surfrider Europe has developed laboratory research over the course of many years in the field of bathing water treatment. Thanks to regular analyses carried out locally, researchers have been able to accurately monitor changes in water quality. Today, all of these research results contribute to Surfrider Europe’s goal of making them more accessible to users and standardised across Europe.

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Ocean Friendly Gardens

Water quality preservation program for coastal drainage basins by a durable management of rainwaters.

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Ostreopsis Ovata

Ostreopsis ovata are microscopic algae that thrive in warm, still, shallow waters on rocky coastlines.

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Monitoring chemical water quality

Surfrider wants to know more about emerging forms of pollution. To do so, we added chemical pollutants to the list of parameters we monitor. Our goal is to better understand the origins of chemical pollution as well as its consequences on marine ecosystems and human health. Our Mediterranean laboratory is a reference on this matter. They conduct bibliographical and experimental research on health risks related to chemicals found in the environment as well as research into the presence of hydrocarbons on our coasts. We perform 300?chemical analyses each year, mainly on hydrocarbons but also on cadmium, mercury, alkylphenols, parabens, phthalates, and fertilizers.

For more information on water quality, practices and analyses, check out our online documents :