Watershed group seeking volunteer monitors

Watershed group seeking volunteer monitors

LINCOLN – The Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone is seeking volunteers to assist with the 17th year of water quality monitoring of 17 sites in the Rhode Island region of the watershed.

A field monitor is needed to sample Cherry Brook in Woonsocket on Olo Street. Additional volunteers are needed so serve as “floaters” to cover sites on an as-needed basis. Volunteers are also needed in the water-testing lab at the Friends of The Blackstone Environmental Education Center, 100 New River Road, Manville.

The BRWC/FOB is a member organization of the Blackstone River Coalition, which recruits and trains citizen scientists to participate in the coalition’s watershed-wide volunteer water quality monitoring program. The goal of this long-running program is to gather information about the current status of, and long-term changes in, the health of the Blackstone River watershed. This information helps local policy makers, state officials, and concerned citizens make the Blackstone River cleaner for people and wildlife.

More than 90 volunteers work with the BRC’s member organizations to sample 75 sites throughout the watershed from Worcester to Pawtucket. Sites are sampled on the second Saturday of each month from April through November. Field monitors and floaters are trained in a one-hour session to test for dissolved oxygen at the site, record physical and aesthetic parameters, and collect a water sample that they drop off at the lab between 9 a.m. and noon on the Saturday of testing. Lab volunteers, who help test these grab samples for nutrients, conductivity, and turbidity, do not need to commit to helping each month and can be trained the first time they assist. The Headwaters Team is based in Worcester, and the Midreach Team is based in Uxbridge, Mass.

To volunteer as a field monitor, floater, or lab assistant, contact Susan Thomas at 508-471-0988 or sthomas@massaudubon.org .