Achievements of Volunteer Monitoring Programs Across the Globe
Every so often we hear some especially exciting news about volunteer monitoring program happenings from our colleagues nationwide - and from around the world. This page contains exciting achievements and announcements about volunteer monitoring. Please let us know breaking news from your region of the country so we can compile a comprehensive list of accomplishments.
The BBC reported on a recent review of hundreds of citizen science projects that concluded that "the involvement of volunteers offers 'high value to research, policy and practice.'" View the BBC article>>
The Nerc Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the Natural History Museum, London, compiled the review of programs along with a guide for conducting citizen science projects. View the guide>>3.4 MB pdf
The Sun Foundation – an Illinois not-for-profit, Illinois science agencies and local Peoria businesses and organizations are sponsoring the 22nd annual Clean Water Celebration in April 2012. This is a two-day event held each spring at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL. The largest event of its kind in the world, it was formed to educate students in making a difference by protecting water. View the full announcement about this event >>
The Missouri Stream Team released "The State of Missouri's Streams Report" summarizing water quality in Missouri's streams and rivers based on volunteer monitoring data from 1993-2012. View the report>>
Menominee Indian High School won $10,000 upon being named as the recipient of the 30th Anniversary Vernier Technology Grant to increase outdoor STEM learning activities. The grant will allow students at the high school to increase their participation in volunteer stream monitoring. Congratulationis to teacher Dan Starr and the Menominee Indian High School! View more about this at Vernier's website >>
Wisconsin's Water Action Volunteer's is offering groups nationwide the opportunity to place large quantity (more than 25) orders for their popular Wonderful, Wacky, Water Critters booklet for just $1.00 per copy plus shipping.
View the order form (87 KB pdf file)>>
View the order form (110 KB Word file) >>
Alabama Water Watch released a new publication about how the program has established a high level of data credibility. The program has conducted research to compare citizen methods to Standard Methods and they have obtained EPA approval for various methodologies that citizens follow. Read a press release about this publication, titled "Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring – Data Credibility and Applications">> (61 KB pdf file)
Timothy Craddock, Citizen's Monitoring Coordinator with West Virginia's Save Our Streams Program announced that new methods to test for acid mine drainage are available.
The methods are available in two formats from the WV Save Our Stream web page, a 2.0 MB PDF and a text-only htm file. The links are provided below.
Indiana's Hoosier Riverwatch is reprinting their benthic macroinvertebrate poster. It's a great educational resource! Contact Lisa Ritter-McMahan (RiverWatch@dnr.IN.gov) for more information and to get an order form. Orders must be submitted by January 15, 2009. View the poster >> (210 KB pdf file)
West Virginia- West Virginia Save Our Streams has just debuted a new and improved simple macroinvertebrate identification guide. Coordinator Tim Craddock thanked the Cacapon Institute and artist, Jennifer Gillies for their work on the project. The key is available on their website at: http://www.wvdep.org/Docs/16027_WVSOS_MacroIDGuide.pdf
Alabama- AWW is a citizen volunteer, water quality monitoring program that is coordinated from the Auburn University Fisheries Department, with support from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), U.S. EPA (Region 4) and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. The mission of AWW is to improve both water quality and policy through citizen monitoring and action. Two stories about the actions of citizens monitors with AWW recently made the news:
- Citizens with AWW have joined forces with scientists from Samford University and Birmingham-Southern College, the Freshwater Land Trust, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Faith Apostolic Church in Powderly, AL, the Sierra Club Water Sentinels, the Alabama Department of Conservation and the Birmingham Audubon Society to monitor springs where the watercress darter live. This darter, thanks to the work of these dedicated groups, has been listed as an endangered species, has had a national wildlife refuge created in its name to protect its habitat, and a park dedicated to education about the species. The citizen monitors' goal is to collect consistent water quality data since this was previously lacking. view story >> (312 KB pdf)
- Two citizen monitoring groups in the Auburn area (east-central Alabama), Save Our Saugahatchee (SOS) and Friends of Chewacla Creek and Uphapee Watershed (CHEWUP) have organized a seasonal bacteria ‘blitz’ sampling event to monitor the Saugahatchee and Chewacla watersheds encompassing the Auburn area. Earlier in 2006, interest in bacteria monitoring greatly increased after a pair of trained monitors reported high E. coli levels at a couple of stream sample sites in the watershed. Several additional citizen monitors got trained and certified by AWW in bacteria monitoring using the Coliscan Easygel® technique. The two citizen groups then teamed up to conduct seasonal bacteria monitoring at 25-30 sites in the Chewacla and Saugahatchee watersheds in the Auburn area. view story >> (623 KB pdf)
Illinois- River Prairie Group, Sierra Club's local chapter in DuPage County, Illinois, has run a comprehensive river testing program in the area for nearly a decade - staffed entirely by grassroots volunteers.
Timed to coincide with World Water Monitoring Day (Thurs Sept 18), the project has released a study of emerging contaminants in Chicago area rivers. The report, a scientific study that will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal this fall, is available for downloading near the bottom of their river monitoring web page
Illinois- Also making news in Illinois in September were the volunteers who monitor Silver Lake in Highland (Madison County). The lake is a popular recreational destination in the area. The IL EPA does
not have enough staff to monitor Illinois' 3,041 lakes or 87,000 ponds. Volunteers monitor the lake to provide information the IL EPA is unable to collect. view story >> (17 KB pdf file)
Washington- Streamkeepers of Clallam County, Washington, succeeded in having the Washington Department of Ecology accept and utilize their macroinvertebrate benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) data for listing impaired waters of the state to the US Environmental Protection Agency. They have worked over the past four years to see this become a reality. view story >>
New Jersey- This month we have three success stories from New Jersey to share:
First, the New Jersey Watershed Watch Network recently completed an Oil Spill Toolkit designed to assist volunteers and monitoring coordinators in recruiting, training and managing a crisis. This kit was created by money from EPA Region 2. Watershed Watch is a program of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. They worked with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to develop this kit. The US Coast Guard is now considering using this kit in times of a spill as well. view story >>
Second, the Great Swamp Watershed Association in Harding Township, New Jersey, was recently recognized in a feature article of the Daily Record of Morris County, NJ, to acknowledge use of the volunteer-generated data by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The monitoring group assesses quality in numerous tributaries to the Passaic River, which is a drinking water source for at least a million people. The volunteers assess such parameters as nitrates, salt, conductivity, total dissolved solids, and turbidity, among others. Their monitoring is part of a three year study. The article, called "Great Swamp group doesn't take clean water for granted" is accessible for purchase at the Daily Record. However, coordinator Kelly Curran shared another recent press release: view story >>
Third, students from Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, NJ, along with those from Barringer High School in Newark, Newark Academy in Livingston and Wallington High School in Wallington, were recognized for their efforts to monitor the Passaic River this year. They are part of the Passaic River Environmental Education and Monitoring Organization which is an EPA grant funded monitoring project through 2009. The students presented their monitoring results at a conference of the PREEMO group in May. view story >>
Rhode Island: University of Rhode Island Watershed Watch celebrated its 20th anniversary. view story >>
Alabama: Bill Deutsch, Director of Alabama Water Watch (AWW) reported that one of the AWW groups on the coast received a coveted Outstanding Alabama Water designation, largely based on eight years of volunteer water testing (link to 321 KB pdf file). view story >> (link to 321 KB pdf file)
Iowa: Rich Leopold, former coordinator for IOWATER, the state's volunteer water monitoring program, was named Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Michigan: Freshwater Future presents success stories each ear. This one from Mill Creek Volunteer Monitoirng Project in Michigan discusses great successes of volunteers with their grassroots efforts to document and stop dredging activities in a local stream. View story>>
Tuesday, 27-Nov-2012 12:52:40 CST