Category Archives: water monitoring

Volunteers in the Water

IMG_1584(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Bodies of water all over the world are in need of regular monitoring to ensure the health of the natural ecosystem as well as the humans who live in the local watershed. In countless places, it’s environmental volunteers who do the monitoring. This story, out of Delaware, features a volunteer team who are a prime example of the kind of work these citizen scientists are doing. They offer a great example of not just the kind of work, but how it benefits both them and the organizations they volunteer for. Check out this link for more info on the University of Delaware’s Citizen Monitoring Program and all of the work being done by their dedicated volunteers.

If you have enjoyed the stories on this blog, download my eBook – Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day. Available at the following links:



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Monitoring Water Quality Everywhere

Winter Stream

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

There’s no question that landscapes across the planet are filled with numerous bodies of water. Lakes, rivers, ponds, swamps, streams and everything in between. Every body of water performs a function in the ecosystem, provides something to the surrounding natural environment. And in many cases, if not most of them, the quality of the water has been greatly diminished or degraded in modern times. So, again in many if not most cases, it’s up to us to monitor the quality of the water, to make sure that the ecosystem is still healthy or can be brought back to health. The thing that caught my eye in this story out of Alabama is the quote, “Our vision is to have a citizen monitor on every stream, river, lake and coast in Alabama.” It’s a lofty and ambitious goal and one that should be applauded. Check out the websites for Alabama Water Watch and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program to see how they are doing.

Keepers of the Lake

IMG_0203(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

While interviewing volunteers for my book, I came across many who worked as volunteer water quality monitors. They often impressed me with their stories of going to a spot along a river, repeatedly throughout the year, in any weather, to take samples of the water. Water sampling is an essential practice so that scientists can study and examine the water for pollutants, bacteria, pH levels, dissolved oxygen and other factors. This story out of Idaho, from the Bonner County Daily Bee, describes the water monitoring work of volunteers along Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho’s largest lake and one of the deepest in the U.S. Whether it’s in suburban Massachusetts, where I met volunteers, or in rural Idaho, the water monitoring work is very similar and the gathered data is equally important.

More information about the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, the organization behind the water quality monitoring.