Each of the five New England Extension volunteer water quality monitoring programs (started as early as 1978 and as recently as 1999) has countless success stories of how they have impacted local communities and improved water quality. But perhaps the greatest success story is their history of regional collaboration. New England Extension monitoring programs share tools and learn from the strengths of their sister programs throughout the region.
Even before the existence of the CSREES National Integrated Water Quality Program, New England Extension volunteer monitoring programs, joining forces with other monitoring programs, formed the New England Regional Monitoring Collaborative (NERMC) to coordinate the delivery of training and related services regionally.
- NERMC has developed five assessment tools that give water quality monitoring and watershed groups throughout New England the “big picture” and the “bottom line” on the ecological integrity of their watersheds and expand upon conventional monitoring techniques
- New Englanders have participated in a series of “train the trainer” workshops geared to provide hands-on training of the monitoring tools developed by NERMC. Individuals who participate in these workshops, including state and regional agency representatives, local conservation organizations, and volunteer water quality coordinators and monitors, apply their learning by teaching others and conducting these assessments in their home watersheds.
Volunteer water quality monitoring is playing a key role in the Northern New England Lake Education Action Project (LEAP), a collaborative project between the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont funded in 2003 by CSREES.
The New England programs also participate and take leading roles in national programs, such as the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC) and the North American Lakes Management Society (NALMS).
“The NERMC Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assessments course was instrumental in the formation of WPWA’s macroinvertebrate volunteer monitoring program in our watershed. The materials from the course enabled me to locate and purchase monitoring equipment, train bolunteers, and develop protocols that work well with my organization. Macroinvertebrate sampling is now a part of several studies that WPWA is doing.” Denise Poyer, Program Director, Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association, Rhode Island
For more information on Extension volunteer water quality monitoring programs in New England, please visit the Volunteer Monitoring pages of the CSREES New England website.
To view programs that were highlighted on this site in the past, visit our highlighted program archives, including an article on the University of Vermont Watershed Alliance.
Tuesday, 27-Nov-2012 10:41:40 CST