Coastal Currents: What Is First Flush, And Is It Gross

Mike Dronkers / Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 @ 11:47 a.m. /

So you drive around all summer and maybe a little oil drips off your undercarriage. You spill coffee on the sidewalk. Dogs what they do. All this stuff accumulates during the dry season.

When the first big rain arrives, that all gets flushed into the storm drains, into the creeks, and ultimately into the ocean. Humboldt Baykeeper has kept tabs on this so-called 'first flush' since 2005.

Today on Coastal Currents, Jen Kalt and Jessica Hall elaborate.

Yes, it's a little gross. So are Eureka's leaky sewer pipes, many of which date back to the 1930s. 

The good news: people are working on this. For instance, Baykeeper has an Arcata high-schooler running DNA analysis on Jolly Giant Creek. Also, the Swimguide app does a damn fine job alerting you to marine grossities.