On a hot summer day, there's nothing like a dip in the ocean to cool off. Unless that little dip lands you in the sickbed. According to Pete Nichols, of the Waterkeeper Alliance, millions of people get sick each year from coming into contact with polluted water at their local beaches. But a new free app could help you find the cleanest beaches for swimming, surfing, or otherwise enjoying the ocean.
The Swim Guide helps users find the cleanest and closest beach to them, get directions to it, look at photos of the beach, and find out if the water there is safe for swimming. The app uses data from 100 different beach monitoring sources, covering more than 1,300 beaches a day, allowing users to get realtime updates on water quality and cleanliness.
The app includes descriptions, photographs, and water quality info (and historical water quality data) for almost 1,300 beaches across North America. The intention is that the Swim Guide will continue to expand its coverage until it includes beaches in every major beach community in North America.
The Swim Guide integrates with the Google maps app, so you can easily get directions to the beach of your choice, and it connects to Twitter, Facebook, SMS, and email, so you can share your favorite beaches with your friends (or send them directions to meet you there). The app also allows you to report pollution or environmental issues to the local Waterkeeper organization right from the beach.