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MBNMS Volunteer Opportunities: First Flush

Volunteer at Pico outfall in Pacific Grove, CA
Volunteer at Pico outfall in Pacific Grove, CA. Photo: K Terry

Urban pollutants that are deposited on hard surfaces during dry weather are then washed away in winter rainstorms into rivers, storm drains and the ocean. The first winter rainstorm can have the highest concentration of pollutants because it is flushing months of built up pollutants that accumulate during the dry weather. These pollutants can be from sources such as brake dust, emissions from cars, animal waste, detergents from car washing, pesticides and fertilizers, among many other chemicals commonly found in and around homes and businesses.

First Flush is an annual storm water monitoring event occurring during the first significant rain storm of the season. Monitoring is conducted at storm drain outfalls that drain into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The goal of this effort is to characterize the storm water runoff that is flowing into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary during the first major storm event of the season, in which there are "sheet flows" of water on the roadways. Field measurements are collected for water temperature, electrical conductivity, transparency and pH. Collected samples are lab analyzed for bacteria (E. coli and enterococcus), metals (copper, zinc, lead), nutrients (urea, nitrate, phosphate) and total suspended solids.

To get involved in First Flush please contact Lisa Emanuelson or call 831-647-4227. Please see the current flyer for more training information (602K PDF)

2019 First Flush Training Schedule

  Training Date Location
San Mateo County - Training
  Tuesday September 10th

San Mateo County Resource Conservation District offices
80 Stone Pine Road, Suite 100, Half Moon Bay

Noah Katz to sign up in San Mateo County
Monterey County - Webinar Training
  Wednesday September 18th

Online webinar
Lisa Emanuelson to sign up in Monterey County
Monterey County - Field Training
  Saturday September 21st
MBNMS Conference Room
99 Pacific Street, Bldg. 455, Monterey

Twins outfall in Monterey, CA.
First Flush at Twins outfall in Monterey, CA. Photo: L. Emanuelson

For more information please check out these links