Surfrider Foundation Emerald Coast Chapter

Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program

Data Report   –Sample Collection Date: 08/12/10


All samples tested below the detection limit (ND) for every parameter with the exception of the below data:

Sample ID Collected Date Parameter Results Units RL
Blue Mountain Beach 8/12/10 Acenaphthylene 0.047 ppb 0.045
Blue Mountain Beach 8/12/10 C2-Fluorenes 0.053 ppb 0.045
Miramar Beach 8/12/10 Acenaphthylene 0.052 ppb 0.043
Okaloosa Island Pier 8/12/10 Acenaphthylene 0.045 ppb 0.041
Panama City, Pier Park 8/12/10 Acenaphthylene 0.040 ppb 0.040
Seaside 8/12/10 Acenaphthylene 0.047 ppb 0.045

ppb = parts per billion

RL = Recording Limit


The positive results for Acenaphthylene are most likely due to lab contamination and may not indicate that this compound was in the original water sample, as the quality control also showed low levels of Acenaphthylene.

There was an extremely small amount of C2-Flourene detected, 0.053 ppb, in the Blue Mountain Beach sample.  This amount is just barely above the reporting limit, and lies well below the Flourene criteria set by EPA for ecosystem effects in marine waters (30 ppb).  Unfortunately, there is no human health standard set for this compound in marine waters.  The low level of C2-Flourene detected in the Blue Mountain Beach sample does not really rise above background levels and could be attributed to boat diesel or street run-off.


These initial results do not mean all of the tested beaches are safe for human exposure.  Testing for oil and dispersant compounds is difficult, as they are not evenly distributed in the water and are generally present only in very sparse (parts per billion) yet potentially toxic amounts.  It also takes nearly two weeks before our data is available, so any oil or dispersants could have moved in or out of the tested beaches during that time.

We are hoping to continue this testing as long as our funding allows so that we can provide better, long term information regarding which beaches in our area remain adversely affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.