California swimmers, surfers and beachgoers can now check their smart phone for the closest, cleanest beaches in their area.
The new app, available through the Waterkeeper Alliance, will also help beach-goers determine if the water is safe for swimming, according to a Humboldt Baykeeper press release. The Swim Guide also allows people to share their adventure with friends and families via social networks, according to the release.
The California Swim Guide uses water quality monitoring data from government authorities to determine the water quality at more than 400 beaches statewide, according to Humboldt Baykeeper. It is updated as frequently as the information is gathered.
The Swim Guide 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.
The Swim Guide includes descriptions and photographs from beaches in Miami, Mobile, Ala., the Great Lakes, British Columbia and Alberta, according to Humboldt Baykeeper. Swim Guide will continue to expand until it covers every major beach community in North America.