CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Waterkeeper, a citizen-based, environmental organization committed to defending local waterways against pollution while protecting the public's right to clean water, has released a new Swim Guide app just in time for summer.
This new free smartphone app provides up-to- date water quality information at 27 different points along five local beaches in the Charleston area, including Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island.
Charleston Waterkeeper Executive Director Cyrus Buffum explains, "Having up-to-the-minute access to water quality data at local beaches will help protect public health and increase the sense of awareness about pollution issues threatening our right to swimmable water. Unfortunately, our waterways are not always fit for safe recreation, and this app aims to improve our community's access to that information."
Swim Guide uses bi-monthly water quality data gathered by the South Carolina Department of Health and
Environmental Control (DHEC) to determine whether the water at local beaches is safe for swimming. Other Swim
Guide features allow users to report pollution at local beaches, get directions, view photos, learn what beaches are best for which types of activities, such as surfing or dog-walking, and easily share this information on social networks.
Charleston Waterkeeper hopes the app is the first step in creating a more empowered public. Charleston Waterkeeper is inviting users to submit the locations of where waterways are enjoyed most often—swimming holes, public docks, creeks and more.
The organization has created an online map that will allow citizens to share the exact points where they come into contact with the water. The public's usage points will be collected, and Charleston Waterkeeper will begin monitoring and publishing water quality data at the most frequently used non-beach area sites.