Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring

volunteers testing waterVolunteer water quality monitoring programs within the Regional often serve as the critical first link that engages the public in watershed stewardship. Volunteer monitoring programs improve the understanding of local water resources, encourage individual and community involvement in water quality protection and restoration efforts, and help communities make informed decisions that improve water quality.

These long-lived programs monitor a host of water resources – lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, wetlands, and private drinking water wells. They have a unique capacity to educate and motivate citizens for water quality and watershed protection. These programs also develop and assess monitoring methods and research how to use volunteer data to model or make informed decisions.

Research within New England's Extension volunteer water quality monitoring programs and at Land Grant Universities is enhancing volunteer methods, improving volunteer data credibility, and employing volunteer data to advance applied research important to lake and watershed management decisions. This research strengthens the foundation of volunteer monitoring, making it easier to educate the public on local water quality issues and contribute data for informed community decision making.

In this presentation, there is a brief description highlighting accomplishments and tangible changes in this focus area in 2007.

The extensive volunteer water quality montoring efforts can be reviewed from these perspectives:

State-Based Volunteer Monitoring Efforts

Regional and National Facilitation of Volunteer Monitoring Efforts

Regional Volunteer Monitoring Data Advancing Applied Research