Achieving the Clean Water Act’s goal of fishable/swimmable waters poses significant scientific and management challenges. Primary issues include pathogen contamination, excessive levels of nutrients and low dissolved oxygen, legacy toxic pollution, floatable debris, and contaminants of emerging concern including microplastics. Water quality management in the estuary is complicated by its complex geography and multiple jurisdictions, with two states, a dozen major utilities, and hundreds of local governments all influencing regulatory approaches and communications.
The Water Quality Work Group (WQWG) was formed to address these complex issues and facilitate communication across agencies and organizations. The work group meets regularly and its members work together to advance discussions of new science/research, continue to strengthen dialogues across agencies, and share information.