Over the next few months as the temperatures begin to rise and the buds start forming on trees, come shake off the winter blues and step into Southeast Michigan’s natural splendor. Volunteer with the Huron River Watershed Council’s Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program!
For nearly twenty years, HRWC has engaged citizens in the health of local water quality by routinely collecting water samples and measuring chemistry parameters at over two dozen sites in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties. April to September, program volunteers sign up for available monitoring slots then meet up with a small team of volunteers for a two to three hour excursion to area waterways. On a typical outing, volunteer teams travel to two sites located along a tributary, collect water samples, record chemistry parameters, and measure stream flow. For a peek check out our microdocumentary, Testing the Waters of The Huron River (see below).
The Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program helps HRWC maintain one of the largest and most continuous records of watershed chemistry data in the country. This long-term dataset allows HRWC staff to identify potential restoration projects, track changes in the river, and develop tools to better predict water quality outcomes.
Additionally, a variety of local and state partners also use the data to improve water quality throughout Michigan. Local municipal collaboratives called the Middle Huron Partners and the Alliance of Downriver Watersheds, track their progress on work required by Clean Water Act stormwater permits. The data also helps shape state water regulations that provide a strategic framework for reducing pollution. And it was even used to support a 2012 state law to ban the use of phosphorus-based fertilizers on residential lawns!
Join us this growing season in the Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program to improve the health of our home rivers and streams, get to know members of the community, and spend time in the outdoors. Visit hrwc.org/chemflow now to sign up for one of our two program orientations and contact Andrea Paine with any questions.