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Water Quality Protection

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation provides technical expertise in the development of monitoring, messaging, and relationship building required to protect California's watersheds.  Through work with coastal cities, non-profit organizations, and rural communities, CMSF provides vital data to resource managers focused on improving water quality in creeks, rivers, and storm drains. 

CMSF also works to lessen the impact of runoff from agricultural production.  Runoff can contain nutrients, pesticides, and plastics that ultimately enter streams, rivers, and the ocean.  Our work is solution oriented, founded in strong science, and close relationships with researchers, technical service providers, and growers.

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Urban Runoff Monitoring

CMSF partners with Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) to provide technical expertise in the development and implementation of urban runoff monitoring, effectiveness monitoring, IDDE monitoring, data management, and relationship-building required to protect California's watersheds. By building relationships with cities, non-profit organizations, and rural communities, CMSF provides necessary data to resource managers focused on improving water quality.

Four programs (First Flush, Urban Watch, Snapshot Day, and Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Monitoring (IDDE in the MS4 NPDES Permit Section E9c) provide high quality data to resource managers. Grant funded effectiveness monitoring or special studies projects have been conducted on human-specific bacteria (HF 183), nutrients, and total copper.

Plastic Pollution in Agriculture

CMSF leads scientific research on agricultural plastic pollution in watersheds. Partnering with Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, UC Cooperative Extension, local growers, and researchers from Washington State University and Cal Poly, CMSF conducts trials of biodegradable mulch in place of traditional plastic

mulch on strawberry fields.


CMSF also works with agricultural products recyclers, manufacturers, educators, and The Nature Conservancy to increase the removal and recycling of irrigation drip tape by identifying solutions.

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Reducing Pollutants in Agricultural Runoff

CMSF works with key partners and agricultural stakeholders to reduce nutrient and pesticide pollutants entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary from agriculture.   Agrochemical management practices can be improved through the combined use of equipment, software, bioreactors, wetlands, and other vegetated practices that can remove pollutants from water through processes such as solar degradation, microbial breakdown, and plant uptake.

Key collaborators on projects include the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Resource Conservation Districts, Monterey County Farm Bureau, UC Cooperative Extension, Central Coast Wetlands Group, and California State University Monterey Bay as well as growers willing to take a role in creating industry change.

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