Tag Archives: water quality 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.

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Volunteers Monitor Great Lakes Streams

Underwater Leaves

(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted a story on here. After such a too-long hiatus (mostly due to moving and some health issues), I’m hoping to be back on here regularly, posting at least a few times every week. So, without further ado…

The Great Lakes have been in the news a lot lately, for a number of environmental reasons, from algae blooms to invasive species. This story out of Michigan focuses on how volunteers are an enormous part of the effort to monitor the streams which connect to the larger lakes. While the article puts some emphasis on the Michigan Clean Water Corps, it includes a number of other interesting  and important aspects of stream monitoring in the area. One is that the volunteers are often monitoring populations of insects and small aquatic species, rather than chemicals. It’s an interesting switch from other monitoring practices that focus on testing for things like phosphorus or dissolved oxygen (in a sense, a way to test the water’s quality and collect data which focuses on biology rather than chemistry). Also important is the fact, as the article mentions, that volunteers are doing these kinds of monitoring tests across a number of states (five are mentioned) and for many different organizations, from nonprofits to government agencies. It’s more evidence of how a task as big and daunting as monitoring the waterways connected to the Great Lakes takes many people working in many places, and most of them are volunteers.

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, read more in my eBook, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day

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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.