For millions of California beach goers, swimmers and surfers, finding and enjoying that perfect stretch of sand and water has just become a whole lot easier with the launch of the Swim Guide, a new, free, smart phone app (available from App Store, Google Play, or www.theswimguide.org). Provided and managed by member groups within the Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of 200 water protection groups worldwide, the Swim Guide helps the user locate the closest, cleanest beach, get directions, view photos and determine if the water is safe for swimming. The Swim Guide also allows the user to share the whole adventure with your friends and family on your social networks.
“Every year, millions of people get sick from coming into contact with polluted water at their local beaches,” said Pete Nichols, western director for the Waterkeeper Alliance. “The Swim Guide provides a free, easy to use way for beach goers to find a beach where their families can swim and enjoy the beach safely,” he continued.
The Swim Guide utilizes water quality monitoring data from government authorities to determine the water quality at nearly 300 beaches in California and is updated as frequently as the water quality information is gathered.
The innovative app originates with a team from the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper chapter, which set out to determine if it was safe to swim in Lake Ontario. Seven years later, with input from more than 100 different beach monitoring sources covering more than 1,300 beaches a day and more than 128,000 points of data, people can now check the status and cleanliness of their local beaches in real time.
Swim Guide includes descriptions and photographs of nearly 1,300 beaches in California and across North America, including Miami, Fla., Mobile, Ala., the Great Lakes, British Columbia and Alberta. Swim Guide will continue to expand until it covers beaches in every major beach community in North America.