How to Start a Volunteer Water Monitoring Program


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This was presented at the Ohio Environmental Council's 2009 Clean Water Conference by Breann Hohman.

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How to Start a Volunteer Water Monitoring Program

  1. 1. Starting a Volunteer Monitoring Program g g Breann Hohman, Coordinator Erie Soil and Water Conservation District
  2. 2. Starting a Volunteer Monitoring Program Form a group g p Determine Goals Select Sites Select Monitoring Protocol Write a Study Plan Train Volunteers Monitor/Analyze Data Present Data/Thank Your Monitors The FCT Tribs Team Program
  3. 3. Volunteer Stream Monitoring g
  4. 4. Determining your goals What do we want to monitor? Streams Construction sites How will we use the data? How long do we want to monitor? Short- Short-term study Long- Long-term study What’s our budget?
  5. 5. Goals of the FCT Program Develop a baseline of water chemistry Problem identification Project evaluation Public Engagement P bli E Stewardship - “Citizen Scientists” Education
  6. 6. Forming a Group Make sure your group is diverse! Suggestions Technical T h i l Scientist/Lab Technician Academic A d i Teachers/Students Citizen Resident/Civic group member
  7. 7. Selecting Sites Start with a map Think about future projects Go G out to each potential site h i l i Get landowner approval for access
  8. 8. Sampling Sites
  9. 9. Selecting Monitoring Protocol How will your data be used? What resources will b available? Wh ill be il bl ? Equipment Laboratories Volunteers What’s your budget? y g
  10. 10. Write a Study Plan Again how is the data being used? Internal Only EPA Volunteer Monitoring Program Level 1 – education Level 2 – problem ID and evaluation Level 3 – regulatory 319 Grant Project QAPP
  11. 11. Training Volunteer Monitoring Handbook Training D T i i Day Protocol Sheets in Kits Follow- Follow-up Site Monitoring
  12. 12. Dealing with the Data Think outside the box to analyze data Let your volunteers in on the action Graphs G h can get b i spice i up with a thank boring i it ih h k you dinner Volunteer Monitoring Chili Dinner Present Data Recognition of Service Stories of Monitoring
  13. 13. FCT Tribs Team Nuts and Bolts Sampling parameters pH, Temp, DO, Turbidity Ammonia, Nitrates, Conductivity, Sol. Reactive Phosphorus Volunteers – 20 Sampling sites Old Woman Creek – 9 sites Pipe Creek – 7 sites Two Partnering Laboratories Old Woman Creek Reserve NERR City of Sandusky Wastewater Treatment Plant
  14. 14. Volunteer Engagement Training g Full Day Workshop Handbook and Stream guides Follow Up Phone calls Site checks The Big Thank You Winter Chili Dinner Event
  15. 15. Current Successes Data Analysis Landuse affects on water quality “The Sky is not falling!” Storm- Storm-based system Construction activity Community Engagement Many returning volunteers Channel 11 News broadcast More eyes on the ground y g
  16. 16. Questions? The Creek… The Estuary... And Barrier Beach.