Land Use- Aquatic Integrity Studies


From: Kris Stepenuck []
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 11:48 AM
To: Volunteer water monitoring
Subject: [volmonitor] Land use – aquatic integrity studies

Hi everyone-

Thanks so much for your wonderful response to my request for nitrogen-related fact sheets. I posted nearly 30 links to nitrogen-related fact sheets at:

I got a few other requests for creating similar publications listings. So, I’d again like to ask for your help in locating online publications, this time about studies relating various parameters of land use/land cover in a watershed (e.g., percent forested cover, road density, % of wetlands filled or disconnected from streams) to aquatic ecosystem integrity (e.g., IBI’s), providing information that might be helpful to communities doing land-use planning/zoning.

Thanks for your help with this!


Kris Stepenuck
Wisconsin Volunteer Stream Monitoring Coordinator
445 Henry Mall, Rm 202
Madison, WI 53706-1577
Phone: 608-265-3887
Fax: 608-262-2031


Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2007 16:36:55 -0400
From: “Schenk, Ann”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Land use – aquatic integrity studies

Carolyn and Kris,
I missed the second part of the original post.
The Maryland Biological Stream Survey, and the volunteer component,
Stream Waders, compute IBIs and do land use analysis with respect to the
IBIs.  See the publications.

Ann Schenk
Natural Resource Biologist III
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., C-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
phone: 410-260-8609


Also see: Stepenuck, K.F., R.L. Crunkilton, L. Wang. 2002. Impacts of urban land use on macroinvertebrate communities in southeastern Wisconsin streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 38 (4): 1041-1052.


Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 13:54:28 -0400
From: Lorraine Joubert

You could check the Source Water Assessment Reports we prepared for major water suppliers in RI. The assessment method uses a number of watershed pollution risk indicators derived from land use, soils and other GIS coverages. Results are availalbe as full reports, factsheets and maps at:



Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 10:30:04 -0500
From: Tony Thorpe

I’ve got a few scans on my website:

These papers will be regarding reservoirs and not streams.

Of particular interest may be these:
Role of land cover and hydrology in determining nutrients in mid-continent reservoirs: implications for nutrient criteria and management. Jones, J.R., M.F. Knowlton, D.V. Obrecht. 2007. Lake and Reserv. Manage. (in press).

Jones, J.R. and M.F. Knowlton. 2005. Suspended solids in Missouri reservoirs in relation to catchment features and internal processes. Water Research 39: 3629-3635.

Jones, J.R., M.F. Knowlton, D.V. Obrecht and E.A. Cook. 2004 . Importance of landscape variables and morphology on nutrients in Missouri Reservoirs. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 1503-1512.

I just put up one stream paper that you should find useful:
Perkins, Bruce D., K. Lohman, E. Van Nieuwenhuyse and J.R. Jones. 1998. An examination of land cover and stream water quality among physiographic provinces of Missouri, USA. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol.26: 940-947

And I like to get the word on on this one, because it uses volunteer data without it being regarded as a novelty. It’s only tangentially relevant to your land use search, however.:
Obrecht, D.V., A.P. Thorpe and J.R. Jones. 2005. Responses in the James River Arm of Table Rock Lake, Missouri (USA) to point-source phosphorus reduction. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 29: 1043-1048.

All of these papers are on the page linked at the beginning of this email.

Good luck!

Tony Thorpe

Coordinator, Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program
302 ABNR University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 1-800-895-2260
Fax: 573-884-5070


Hydrocarbon Monitoring


Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 14:52:44 -0600
From: “Zarnt, Debra”
Subject: [volmonitor] hydrocarbon monitoring

I am working with a group of volunteers who are concerned about the effects of motorized recreation on a reservoir and the stream below the reservoir and want to start a monitoring program. I have no experience monitoring for hydrocarbons and am wondering if anyone knows of low-cost methods / equipment that would be appropriate. Thank you for your help.

Debbie Zarnt
Community Outreach Coordinator
MT Watercourse
P.O. Box 170575
201 Culbertson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: 406-994-1684
Fax: 406-994-1919


Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 06:50:00 -0400
From: Marilyn S Mayer
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] hydrocarbon monitoring

Its my suspicion that hydrocarbon contamination is not the greatest threat posed by the motorized recreation. I would worry more about potential introduction of exotic species (zebra mussels, round goby, wwater chestnut, water milfoil) from other locations recently visited by the boats or jet skis, potential disturbance & danger posed by the boats and jet skis to wildlife (such as loons, least terns) and swimmers, and potential littering by users.

Marilyn Mayer
aquatic scientist
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 08:50:16 -0400
From: Nancy Hadley
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] hydrocarbon monitoring

Other effects to consider are shoreline erosion and increased turbidity, particularly if they are operating in shallow areas where they are disturbing the bottom sediments.


Healthy Urban Streams


Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 10:57:46 -0400
From: John Murphy
Subject: [volmonitor] Healthy urban streams?

Dear Colleagues-

StreamWatch, working in Central Virginia and using a famil-level benthic IBI, has developed a region-specific population density/stream health model that predicts “very poor” benthic health for streams draining urban catchments (urban = population > 1,000 per square mile). At a recent presentation to local decision-makers, our City Manager mentioned some “urban” streams he knew of that supported trout populations (Boulder, CO and Durango, CO), and wondered why these cities had “healthy” streams while our city does not. We didn’t have time to discuss all the potential differences between cases, (fish versus bugs, cold water versus warm water, population density of the entire catchment versus proximate density, etc.), but his question does prompt me to ask if any of y’all are aware of any truly urban* streams that support healthy** benthic communities.

*urban = > 1,000 humans/sq mile throughout entire watershed draining to sample site
**healthy = supports state’s aquatic life standard, measured by benthic samples

Any info would be apprecitated.

John Murphy, Director
office: (434) 923-8642
cell: (434) 242-1145


Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 10:44:59 -0500
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Healthy urban streams?

Hi John
I know of a program here in the Minneapolis metropolitan area that monitors the Vermillion River in the SW metro county of Dakota. The Vermillion is managed for trout and volunteers routinely find some of the best macroinvertebrates for the 7 county metro area (also id’d to Family level). I can’t be certain if it qualifies for your definition of “urban” but I thought I’d pass along the info. Laura Jester as the Dakota Soil and Water Conservation District would be the person to contact for more information.

Mary Karius
Hennepin County Environmental Services


Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 17:49:21 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Healthy urban streams?

Hi, John,

Here in the East Bay area of San Francisco, we have at least a couple of streams that meet your definition of urban and have healthy rainbow-trout populations  — Codornices and Sausal Creeks. You can find out more about them with a web search on those names, or on Friends of Five Creeks (my group, or Friends of Sausal Creek ( There is some recent BMI and other monitoring information for Codornices on the website of Urban Creeks Council, California does not have a single standard for benthic macroinvertebrates. The BMI data above and other findings on similar streams (e.g. in Contra Costa, the next county north), indicate fairly low diversity and dominance by pollution-tolerant taxa. The creeks mentioned, as well as other local creeks with rainbow trout/steelhead or even salmon (but which don’t quite meet your definition of fully urban), receive significant amounts of chloraminated water from gardens and from main breaks (a common occurrence in our geologically active area). They also receive the usual residential runoff, including the occasional hosing of concrete waste or soap into storm drains, etc. Thus, it seems to me that there is nothing about urban runoff that intrinsically makes it impossible to have water quality good enough for healthy fish populations.

Susan Schwartz
Friends of Five Creeks


Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 16:59:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Schenk
Subject: Re:[volmonitor] Healthy urban streams?

There is a small unnamed stream whose watershed lies completely within Baltimore City which supports a diverse benthic macroinvertebrate community, including stoneflies.  The watershed of this stream is almost entirely forested by wild parkland, although it is surrounded by dense urban development.  The stream is intermittent and periodic.

Michael Schenk


Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 07:36:02 +1200
From: Phil
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Healthy urban streams?
Yes, I have seen some healthy urban streams…

There is a stream in central Auckland (New Zealand) that supports very high densities of galaxid fish (very sensitive to water quality) and diverse benthic invertebrates.   The catchment is high density
residential but the surrounding riparian veg is dense native bush (it’s a park through the area).   Most of the streams in Auckland are pretty sad…

Christchurch is repairing their streams by re-establishing healthy riparian communities and naturalising the stream structure.  The benthic communities appear to be responding.

I personally think refuge areas are extremely important.  Root masses, gravels, tributaries, backwaters….   anywhere the greeblies can escape to and recolonise after disturbance events.  Outside of that, they need food and moderately clean water.   (I think most bugs can tolerate fairly wide swings in water quality under normal conditions).

Phil Ross


Getting The Most From Volunteer Monitoring


Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2008 12:14:49 -0500
Subject: [volmonitor] Great article about volunteer monitoring in NWQEP Notes

Check out this interesting and supportive article in the March 2008 issue of NWQEP NOTES, published by NC State University Cooperative Extension, entitled “Getting the Most from Volunteer Monitoring,” by Steven Dressing of Tetra Tech, Inc. It includes many examples from volunteer programs around the country, as well as discussion of costs, kits vs. meters and probes, and suggestions for programs and agencies.

(also posted on this website if the remote one changes in the future>>)

Alice Mayio
USEPA Office of Water
Phone: 202-566-1184, Fax: 202-566-1437
Mail: 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW (4503T), Washington, DC 20460
Delivery: 1301 Constitution Ave NW (Rm7330Q), Washington, DC 20460



Comment 1: I received an e-mail from Ken Cooke offering an explanation of how to figure out what resolution your digital images are.

Question 1: Are there any other groups that do have their volunteers photo-document their sites, and if so, how do you organize your photos?

Comment 1

Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 20:45:02 -0700
From: Eleanor Ely
Subject: [volmonitor] more on DPI, digital photos, etc.

Dear listserv:

I received an e-mail from Ken Cooke (of Kentucky Water Watch) offering a more complete explanation of how to figure out what resolution your digital images are. Basically, you take the image resolution in pixels and divide it by the desired DPI to see what the final size will be at the desired DPI. For example, in the case of the newsletter, the desired DPI is 300 so I would divide by 300. For example, suppose someone sends me an image with dimensions 2260 by 1620 (in pixels). Dividing by 300, I get approximately 7.5 by 5.4 (this represents the dimensions in inches). Since most photos in the newsletter are printed considerably smaller than that, I know that this photo will be fine.

Until I heard from Ken, I didn’t know about this formula so I was using my “Windows Fax and Photo Viewer” program to essentially do the math for me. I would click on the “edit” icon, look under “file,” click on “properties,” and get a dialog box showing DPI, pixels, and image dimensions. When I typed in the desired DPI (300), the image dimensions would automatically change. Now that I know about dividing the number of pixels by 300, I can avoid all these steps.

For those who may be interested in delving further into this issue, here are some excerpts from Ken’s e-mail:

“DPI and native resolution are two different settings.

DPI is generally a printer setting only.

You can have a 300 dpi image that’s 320 X 240 pixels
You can have a 300 dpi image that’s 6000 X 2000 pixels

The first would print about 1 inch x .8 inch. The second would print about 20 inches x 7 inches at 300 DPI.

When going to print, the main calculation you need to do is divide the image resolution in pixels by the print resolution you want in DPI to see if it will be good enough for the size image you want in your publication.

The human eye can’t diferentiate much beyond 200-300 dpi. Finer printing resolutions than that help with color definition, but not much more. National Geographic is printed at a whopping 2400 dpi!

One thing about capturing images out of a PDF file you should know:

When you convert a print publication to PDF out of a layout and design software such as Pagemaker, the PDF distiller converts the image to a jpeg at the DPI you set in your pinter preferences based on the size it is in your publication. If you have a 6000 X 4000 pixel image but squeeze it down to a three inch by two inch image in your publication, then convert it to PDF at 300 dpi (the default), the conversion will downsample the image to 900 X 600 pixels. So when you grab it out of powerpoint, that is the resolution you get.”
Hope this is helpful!


Eleanor Ely
Editor, The Volunteer Monitor Newsletter
50 Benton Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112

Question 1

Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 00:03:25 +0000
From: Ingrid Harrald

I currently coordinate a small group of water quality monitoring volunteers. Our protocols require our volunteers to photo-document their site (both upstream and downstream). We have yet to find an efficient way to organize and store our photos. Are there any other groups that do this, and if so, how do you organize your photos?

Thanks for your help!


Responses to Question 1

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 22:15:04 -0400
From: Eric Eckl


You should check out an online photo service called Flickr:

What’s really great about Flickr is you can assign multiple tags to each photo, such as: Pennsylvania, Susquehanna, Fishing, 2006, children, etc…

Then you can search your collection by keyword. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a big improvement over putting your pictures into folders.

Free Flickr accounts are free. Pro Flickr accounts are cheap.

Good luck with your search.

Eric Eckl
Water Words That Work
P.O. Box 2182
Falls Church, VA 22042-2182
(703) 822-4265
Cell: (703) 635-4380


Wed, 25 Jul 2007 12:04:57 -0400
From: Carolyn Sibner

Hi Ingrid, is another online photo service that is also free and well organized. You can also have it print out your photos with captions on the back, at no extra cost, so you don’t have to write on the date and location by hand.
I also downloaded their software for free and use it to organize and fix my photos on my computer.

Hope this helps,


Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 17:00:12 -0700
From: ED

Another way to go, if you maintain a website is to install free software called Coppermine.
It is a great way to store and share your photos and key word searches are included.

Mondy Lariz, Executive Director
Stevens & Permanente Creeks
Watershed Council
2353 Venndale Ave
San Jose, CA 95124
(408) 356-8258


Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2007 20:35:20 -0400
From: Eric Eckl

Well, another advantage of Flickr (Disclosure: I’m a HUGE fan) is that a lot
of users have elected to share their photos for others to use.

Then you can start entering terms in the search box. If you like a photo,
you can use it according to whatever terms the photographer stipulates. So
Flickr is a great place to both keep the photos you took, and to find the
photos you wish you had taken.

For example, I put a post on my blog today that mentioned a rain garden. I
don’t have a picture of a rain garden, but I found one on Flickr in about
two minutes. The photographer stipulated that others are free to use the
photo so long as they credit her. So I used the photo and credited her. Just
mouse over the photo to see the credit.

Eric Eckl
Water Words That Work
P.O. Box 2182
Falls Church, VA 22042-2182
(703) 822-4265
Cell: (703) 635-4380


pH Monitoring


On Mon, Nov 9, 2009 at 6:45 AM, Delpapa, Cindy (FWE) wrote:

Hi everyone,

I have been asked by a volunteer based monitoring group., (monitoring freshwater and estuary waters) for recommendations for a reliable, accurate, easy to use and reasonable upkeep/calibration costs pH meter (or other alternatives for getting accurate pH data). Does anyone have experience, por and con, on any of the following or have suggestions on a good meter/strips. Many thanks for any insight you can offer. Hanna Instruments basic (“Educational”) bench top: HI 207 or “pHEP” (Electronic Paper versions): HI 98107, HI 98128 or the portable one: HI 98121Sper Scientific the inexpensive hand-held models (“Basic” and “Advanced”)

Hach – the IQ120 Mini-Lab

and Whatman – pH test papers – (many different vvarieties)

Cindy Delpapa, River ecologist
MA Div of Ecological Restoration


From: Stepenuck, Kris []
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2009 10:23 AM

Our group uses Oakton Acorn pH meters and they seem to work well in side by side testing.

Kris Stepenuck


Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 10:12:57 -0600
From: Chris Riggert
Hi Cindy,
I don’t have personal experience with the pH methods you listed below. But the Missouri Stream Team Program has been using Hach’s Pocket Pal pH Tester (Cat.# 44350-01) for many years, and runs about $60 list price. It does have its drawbacks (no auto shut-off, bulb and wick must remain moist, occasionally bad batch w/ faulty circuitry, small screw tends to get lost quickly, isn’t really waterproof, etc).
However, it is relatively inexpensive, easy to calibrate, and has QAQC’d well over the many years we’ve been using it. When there have been issues, Hach has been very good to work with in getting replacement equipment sent. We instruct our volunteers to perform a two point calibration within 12 hours of their sampling event, and also provide them with the pH 7.0 buffer solution (Cat.# 22835-49) and 10.0 buffer solution (Cat.# 22836-49).
I mentioned it QAQC’d well. Our acceptable limit for us is plus/minus 0.2 pH. While these pens are probably not as accurate/reliable as the more sophisticated meters used by MO DNR staff, they are much cheaper and provide more accurate/reliable results than the pH strips, etc. As with every piece of monitoring equipment, proper care and QAQC of what you are using goes a long way in getting usable results.
All depends on what their objectives are, how much error they can live with…and probably most importantly, how much $$ they have to spend.
Hope this helps!

Christopher M. Riggert
Stream Team Program
Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator
Missouri Department of Conservation
P.O. Box 180
2901 W. Truman Blvd.
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180
Phone: (573) 522-4115 ext. 3167
Fax: (573) 526-0990


Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 10:51:32 -0500
From: “Schenk, Ann”
Like Chris, I have no experience with the Hanna brand meters, but ALL electronic pH probes need to be kept moist because they rely on electric differentials between the highly saturated salt solution or gel inside the probe and the outside world. If the probe dries out, the bridge between inside and outside is broken. Think of it as mechanical osmoregulation.
As to recommendations, try calling the tech folks at Ben Meadows. They carry many company’s meters,are a ‘siste’ company to Lab Supplies, and might be able to give you some sort of bulk discount. Contact info is on the Ben Meadows website.
Ann Schenk
Natural Resource Biologist III
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Ave., C-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
phone: 410-260-8609


Reproducing Volunteer Monitor Newsletter Articles


From: Thorpe, Anthony Paul
Sent: Friday, March 05, 2004 6:10 AM
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: newsletter survey (another chance to respond)

I have a quick question. Is information in the V.M. Newsletter freely reproducable? I have a small newsletter I put out for the Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program and am always looking for more source material.
Tony Thorpe

Coordinator, Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program
302 ABNR University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 1-800-895-2260
Fax: 573-884-5070


Date: Fri, 05 Mar 2004 12:05:40 -0800
From: Eleanor Ely
Subject: [volmonitor] reproducing info from VM newsletter
Dear Tony:

You sent your query to the whole listserv, perhaps inadvertently. However, your question may be of general interest, so I am responding to the listserv.

Information from the newsletter is definitely reproducible — in fact, that is highly encouraged. I only ask that you let me know which articles are being reproduced and in what publication. Also, if possible, it would be nice if you could send a copy of the publication to me at the address below. Finally, be sure to credit The Volunteer Monitor newsletter as the source of the article(s), and if possible also include the URL for newsletter subscriptions and back issues (the URL is in my signature block below).


Eleanor Ely
Editor, The Volunteer Monitor Newsletter
50 Benton Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112


Creating a Volunteer Monitoring Program


From: “Steven Witmer”
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 11:28 AM
Subject: [volmonitor] Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

Greetings Everyone,

The municipality I work for is looking at facilitating the creation of a new volunteer water quality monitoring group. The hope is that if an effective group of volunteers can be put together, it will be a cost-effective way of gathering data on water quality in and around the community, and also assist in monitoring outfalls and for illicit dumping, assist with public education, and so on.

What I’d like is some advice from folks who have been involved with the creation of such groups, or running such groups, or for that matter, anyone who has been involved in a monitoring group that would like to share some advice or suggestions.

One question I specifically have is (though of course any suggestions are appreciated, not just to this question): how to generate interest and recruit new volunteers in order to get the group operational (if only two volunteers sign up in the next six months, that’s going to be pretty thin resources to base a monitoring program on).

A little background on our community, if it will help – We are in the Midwest, with one of the state’s major rivers forming the eastern border of town and a Corp of Engineers reservoir along the northeast border that is open to the public for recreation (fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, etc.). The population is currently about 10,000, but it is part of a larger metro area with a total population of about 350,000. It’s a rapidly growing community (population has increased approximately 40% in the past ten years, and is still growing at about the same pace). We are also a new NPDES Phase II community (permit still undergoing review, but likely to go into effect this year).

Any information folks wish to share is appreciated.




(Note: some responses are missing from this string)

Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 12:54:08 -0500
From: Steven Witmer
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

Thanks so much for the replies so far! I’ll provide a little more information.

Kristine is correct – we’re in Iowa, and I am an IOWATER volunteer (which is why this task has largely devolved onto me – I’m the only trained volunteer water monitor on staff). I have arranged for an IOWATER training to take place in our community in April, and hopefully will have a newspaper announcement on it in the next week or so (I’m meeting with the reporter this afternoon) as well as a notice in next month’s city newsletter. I’ve posted a flyer at city hall on the bulletin board and also put a notice in our water department where water customers can see it. And of course the IOWATER program has it on their website and a number of organizations across the state have links to their site.

The net result of that, so far (over the month or so), has been that the training is half-filled (maximum 30 participants), but only 4 of the 15 are Johnston residents. This isn’t a bad thing, of course, and I’m excited to have gotten statewide interest in attending the training. But on the other hand I’m hoping to attract more community residents – the intention is, after all, to try to get a core of trained local volunteers.

I’ve been monitoring in town myself since I became an IOWATER volunteer last spring, and I am working with the county extension on a water quality project in one of our newer neighborhoods that has a nutrient problem in the local park pond (the pond also serves as a stormwater detention pond,and lawn runoff has resulted in nutrient enrichment that has cause vegetation in the pond to grow out of control).

Steven Witmer
Planning Assistant
City of Johnston


Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 12:01:42 -0500
From: Nancy Hadley
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

After some false starts we started a volunteer based monitoring program in fall 2002. We actually started it in Jan 2002 but didnt get much in the way of participation until fall 2002 when we highlighted National Water Monitoring Day. We have some faithful regulars and some others who tend to promise more than they deliver. There is also quite a bit of turnover due to the use of students. Therefore we are constantly recruitng and training new volunteers to fill these gaps. Here are some suggestions for initial recruitment:
Find some established groups with compatible interests (environment, land use) and target their membership
Suggestions might be Sierra Club, Audubon, any local land trusts or environmental action groups, Scouts, community groups near your proposed monitoring sites, etc.)
Do not start recruiting until you are ready to deliver. Nothing turns off the volunteers more than being told we will get back to you when we are ready to start.
Provide plenty of support in the way of training, etc.
Provide feedback. Our volunteers enter data online and can immediately graph results and compare sites.
Offer refresher training regularly.

Nancy Hadley
SCORE project manager
Marine Resources Research Institute
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 12559
217 Fort Johnson Road
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 953-9841
(843) 953-9820 (fax)


From: mark a kuechenmeister []
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 11:04 PM
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

Go to the Missouri stream team website and there you can find tons of info on volunteering monitoring. In Missouri there are over 2400 Stream Teams with over 48,000 volunteers working with their adopted streams. Hope this helps you out.

Monitoring and helping
Maline Creek. for
over six yrs.
your friend
Mark K.


Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 13:37:59 -0500
From: Bob Carlson
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

Dear Steve

You’ve gotten some great advice so far. You may have some extra challenges getting volunteers since you are looking for volunteers on specific waterbodies. I did a survey of Dip-In volunteers that suggested that the majority of volunteers monitor, and continue to monitor, because of some sense of ownership or involvement in the monitored waterbody. You might look to residents near the waterbody for help. We found that another group of volunteers are monitoring in order to protect their environment or monitor as a matter of civic duty. Your advertisements might focus on why you need the monitoring done.

I would certainly invite you to make a focus event around the Great North American Secchi Dip-In this July. Programs use this event to attract media and public attention to their program and to the environmental problems in their area. You can see how some programs have used the Dip-In as an event at our website (below). We have had coverage in Polk County, IA since 1996 and would welcome your contribuitions in the future. IOWater is a major contributor to our database, both with Secchi disk readings and with turbidity tubes and turbidity meters.

You might also start posting the data that has been gathered. A weekly or monthly article in the local paper showing the data, and the data gaps, might catch people’s attention. People really like to see that their data are being used for some worthwhile purpose.

Bob Carlson Phone: (330) 672-3992
Dept Biological Sciences FAX: (330) 672-3713
Kent State University E-mail:
Kent OH 44242


Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 12:44:54 -0500
From: Melinda Hughes
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

Dear Steve,
Your inquiry about starting a volunteer program for water monitoring and public education was forwarded to me. I am with the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement (EASI), and basically our mission is to involve retirees and other seniors in environmental projects that better their community. More information about EASI and our programs can be found at

We have several Senior Environment Corps around the country that perform water testing (8 parameters). In addition to their monthly water testing, the volunteers also perform bi-annual macro-invertebrate testing and physical assessments of the stream sites. Many of the volunteers are also trained for Homeland Security purposes, and some even monitor for Abandoned Mine Drainage.

Besides the water testing, their are many other programs that EASI volunteers participate in including: brownfields revitalization, radon programs, West Nile Virus and children’s environmental health. Again, most of our programs can be found on our website at

If you want information about any particular programs, please let me know. I can be reached at 540-788-3274 or at


Melinda Hughes


Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 12:24:27 -0500
From: Linda Green
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program

Hi Steve,
I’m one of the folks who works with Kris Stepenuck on facilitating volunteer water quality monitoring programs. I also am program director for a volunteer monitoring program in RI. Quite often letters to the editor of local papers are read more than articles, so you might consider writing a concise one about what you hope to accomplish and who you are trying to attract as well as specifics about how much time the training and monitoring will take. Is there a municipal web page that you could post a notice to? CAn you include a flyer in water department bills? Here in RI not many folks pay their water bills in person. How about church newsletters? Or contacting Scouts? Does your high school have an environmental club? A town wide-recreation department? Lately we find a good number of families volunteering as a chance for an outdoor family activity and we have had a few state science fair winners from students who have been volunteer monitors. As a bit of a reality check, for every 100 folks who contact us about volunteering (and we speak to just about every one of them on the phone or via email), approx 50-60 come to one of our 1/2 day classroom trainings, about 25-30 come to follow up 1/2 day (or early evening) field trainings, and about 25 become active monitors. Of those 25, approx 15 will continue for the following year and 10 for the year after that. Once we have ’em for 3 years they’re hooked (pun intended). Our program, URI Watershed Watch is fairly intensive, with lake monitors going out weekly, and stream monitors biweekly, from May thru October. Our program started in 1988.

Best Wishes!
Linda Green


Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 09:03:22 -0500
From: John Murphy
Subject: [volmonitor] Re: Seeking advice on creating a volunteer program


We’re in a 765-square mile watershed in central Virginia (Charlottesville, home of Monticello and the University of Virginia). Urbanization, forestry, and some cattle farming are biggest threats.Our program is a little over a year old. The formula for success has been: 1) a supportive community, including environmentally-minded public employees, 2) an explicitly stated community-identified need for a monitoring program, 3) a lot of hard work, much of it on a volunteer basis (including a great deal of volunteer time given by me, the program coordinator), 4) grant monies, and 5) tons and tons of communication.

Our program is a little over a year old. The formula for success has been: 1) a supportive community, including environmentally-minded public employees, 2) an explicitly stated community-identified need for a monitoring program, 3) a lot of hard work, much of it on a volunteer basis (including a great deal of volunteer time given by me, the program coordinator), 4) grant monies, and 5) tons and tons of communication.

You might check out our website (not yet public) at 

Good luck!


John Murphy
Program Manager
P.O. Box 181
Ivy, VA 22945
Cellphone: 434-242-1145



Beavers and Lakes


Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 15:29:43 -0500
From: Kelley Curran
Subject: [volmonitor] Beavers


I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the following or could
point me in the direction of finding additional information:

1. The lake community association that I belong to is preparing to trap and
kill a local beaver family that has been building a dam on our lake. The
board members claim that they have been mandated by the state to get rid of
them. It just seems to me that there may be more humane ways to handle the
beavers and their dam building activities. Has anyone had any experience
with this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Kelley A. Curran
Director of Water Quality Programs
Great Swamp Watershed Association
ph: 973-538-3500 x16
fax: 973-538-5300


Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 06:43:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Kelly Stettner
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Beavers

Hello, Kelley & group;

As far as the beaver problem goes, has anyone thought about beaver baffles? Essentially, it’s a tube type of structure which is installed at the bottom of the dam, draining a portion of it into the stream below. The level of water behind the dam is maintained at a height to serve the beavers’ needs, but the streamflow is kept to a level that meets landowner needs and fish needs downstream. My buddy Mary Beth Adler has installed many; she works with Vermont Fish & Wildlife and would LOVE to explain and answer any questions you may have:

A link to more information:


California Watershed Assessment Manual


Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 16:22:17 -0700
From: “Shilling, Fraser”
Subject: [volmonitor] California Watershed Assessment Manual

Monitoring Colleagues

I am the lead for the California Watershed Assessment Manual (CWAM) project. An important part of this project is describing protocols for collecting water quality data, storing and retrieving the data, using them in modeling, using data to assess impairment relative to water quality standards, the use of water quality indices, water quality data in combination with geogrpahic information systems, the role of assessment in developing monitoring programs, and the role of monitoring in iterative watershed assessment. I was wondering if people could take a few seconds or minutes and send me their favorite links, references, or electronic material regarding these topics. Those of you in California, please feel free to send me your email address and I will let you know when the draft Manual comes out (beginning of June).

Fraser Shilling
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
University of California, Davis
CA 95616
530-752-7859 (ph)
530-752-3350 (fax)


From: Kris Stepenuck []
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 11:38 AM
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] California Watershed Assessment Manual


You might be interested in a listing of volunteer monitoring programs that have online accessible databases. We’ve compiled a list with links to each of these database on our project website at:(introductory page) or (the list)

Also, within Wisconsin we are currently working with the Aquatic and Terrestrial Resources Inventory – an effort between the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wiscosnin, to create GIS maps of both volunteer stream and volunteer lake monitoring data (which are stored in online databases, but link to the GIS maps). You can view sample maps (not the lakes and streams one yet) online.

I hope these links will be helpful.

Kris Stepenuck
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 11:59:48 -0700
From: “Shilling, Fraser”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] California Watershed Assessment Manual

Thanks for the links

We did somehitng similar here a few years ago, though we did not integrate it into our ArcIMS product for the watershed.

Fraser Shilling