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Researchers Study Ocean Pollution Off Imperial Beach

SAN DIEGO — UC San Diego researchers are trying to find out how pollution travels in the ocean off of Imperial Beach. The area has a history of water quality problems after rainstorms.
The researchers are using a non-toxic pink dye to track how pollution travels in the ocean from the border to the southern boundary of Silver Strand State Beach.

Other tools will be used to measure and track the dye including drifting devices with built-in GPS antennas.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher Falk Feddersen says the the goal is to understand how currents and waves affect pollution.

"Does it dilute more or less at low tide or at high tide?" Feddersen asks. "Does it dilute more or less if the currents are really strong or very weak? These are the kinds of general questions that will be phrased more mathematically and statistically, but these are the kinds of questions that we're going to address."

Researchers will also use various instruments mounted on tripod frames in the surf west of Imperial Beach Boulevard.

The field experiments will continue through the end of October.

By Ed Joyce