Volunteer Monitoring Trends


On Jan 17, 2005, at 12:30 AM, Eleanor Ely wrote:
Dear friends:
Today I got a call from a writer who wanted quick and easy answers to large and difficult questions about volunteer monitoring. I was little annoyed that he seemed to be trying to throw something together at the last minute with a minimum of effort. But at the same time I felt bad that I couldn’t answer his questions. He was mainly looking for “news” — specifically, he wanted to know what’s new in the past decade. Is volunteer monitoring “growing”? Are there more programs, or more volunteers? What are the latest trends? (More centralization? More collaboration?) What new volunteer monitoring equipment or methods have been developed in the past decade? I wasn’t very helpful, and I tried to explain that no one really knows the answers to some of these questions — that it would take a lot of research and time to find out. But after I got off the phone two ideas occurred to me.

The first was that in some ways he was asking the wrong questions. He was looking for what’s new, what’s different. And I started thinking that a lot of the value of monitoring comes from what is NOT new. The fact that a lot of groups celebrated their 10th, 20th, or even 30th anniversary last year is probably more important than how many new groups formed that year or what new technologies were developed. The fact that some volunteers celebrated their 5th, 10th, or 15th anniversary with a monitoring program is probably more important than how many new volunteers the program recruited. In a sense, what you want to see in a volunteer monitoring program is the “same old same old” — same volunteers, same methods and parameters, and even (if your water body is healthy) the same results. And yet, as has been noted before, that sort of thing is not glamorous and sexy; it’s not “news.” Which is one of the things that makes it hard to convince policymakers and funders of the value of long-term monitoring.

But after thinking all that, I also decided that there probably IS some “news,” and that was when I got my second idea — the idea of asking people on this listserv for their views. I would love to hear your comments on my preliminary thoughts (see below) about possible “trends” in the last decade.

– Are there more programs? Since there hasn’t been a survey since 1998, I don’t think anyone knows the answer. My impression is that budget cuts have taken their toll on volunteer monitoring and that some groups have gone under. At the same time, though, new groups have also formed. But I don’t have a clear sense that there has been net growth. What do others think? – Speaking of budget cuts, for the last 15 years I’ve been hearing about the “slashing” of agency and volunteer funding, but my gut feeling is that it’s more serious now. I think volunteer groups are responding in various ways — looking for new sources of support, and at the same time tightening belts more than before. And while the “positive spin” might be that volunteer groups are finding new partners and that agencies are more open to volunteer
data (since they can’t afford to collect their own), my sense is that on the whole volunteer monitoring is suffering from a decline in funding — that programs are having to cut back their activities, reduce the number of volunteers, and in some cases close down operations altogether. I’m hoping that some of you can convince me that this view is overly bleak. – Is there more centralization and/or collaboration? I know that monitoring programs are always forming new partnerships, trying to coordinate with other groups in the watershed, etc. Is there more of that now than 10 years ago? I’m not sure. However, I think I would feel pretty safe in saying that there is more data sharing, partly because nowadays groups are posting their data on the Internet, which wasn’t happening 10 years ago.

– Are volunteer monitoring data being more accepted by agencies, researchers, etc.? Certainly we would all like to think so! Based on
”anecdotal evidence,” I would answer this question in the affirmative. But maybe that’s because I tend to hear the good news — people are more interested in telling the world about their success than about their frustration. What do others think — is there a genuine trend toward more acceptance of volunteer monitoring data?

– New developments in methodology and equipment? The writer who called me had glanced at the most recent VM and noticed the picture of the horizontal clarity tube, so he suggested that “horizontal monitoring” might be a hot new trend. No, I said (mentally picturing monitors lying down next to their water bodies), I didn’t think horizontal monitoring would be a good example of a new trend, but perhaps the clarity tube itself (vertical version) might qualify as an important new piece of equipment introduced in the past decade. Now I’m trying to think of other examples. What about the relatively new simplified methods for monitoring coliforms and E. coli, which are gaining more and more widespread use? Any other ideas?

– Another new trend, I think, is online data entry. Would anyone like to comment on the significance of this?

Thanks, everyone, for your patience in reading all this. I’m looking forward to receiving some interesting feedback, and perhaps publishing a summary of responses in the next issue of the newsletter. I think in this case it might be useful to post responses to the entire listserv. Maybe we can get a dialog going.

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


Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2005 07:17:14 -0800 (PST)
From: David J Wilson
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] ideas needed — volunteer monitoring “trends”

Dear Ellie,

(1) I agree with you that it is rather stupid for someone to attempt to throw together on short notice a picture of the current state of affairs in volunteer monitoring. Such an article is likely to be loaded with errors and may do more harm than good. Sorry.

(2) Given that sediment is a major water quality problem nationally, the appearance on the scene of cheap turbidity/transparency tubes is certainly significant. This is strongly reinforced by Tim Diehl’s (USGS, Nashville office) work showing the excellent correlation between transparencies and nephelometric turbidimeter measurements. The cost of a turbidity tube is sufficiently small that a volunteer group can pay for a few of these out of its own pockets, as was done by the Harpeth River Watershed Association in TN and as we are doing in the Huron River Watershed Council in MI. The horizontal tube is an interesting extension of the turbidity tube technique; we have not, however, needed it in any of our turbidity/TSS work on the Harpeth and the Huron Rivers, and I do not expect that it will be a major player.

(3) Most states are having extreme budgetary difficulties; the enormous federal government is piling up staggering budget deficits; and the present federal administration has shown itself to be extremely hostile to any and all environmental concerns. I therefore think that we shall see volunteer monitoring groups focussing on getting the most bang for their own bucks, rather than wasting time hustling for non-existent state and federal dollars. Sediment studies, studies that can be done with field test kits (DO, phosphate, nitrate, pH), visual assessments, bank erosion monitoring, and benthic macroinvertebrate studies are all examples of monitoring that can be done on a low budget–at a price a volunteer group can raise on its own without government assistance. I note that this was the way volunteer monitoring started out before it even had a name; concerned and outraged citizens’ groups raised their own money and did! their own thing with the governments dragging their feet at every level. See, for example, what was done by volunteer groups in Rochester, NY, and St. Louis back in the 60’s. Yes, it is nice to be able to get government money. It is very nice to be able to have the support and guidance of paid professional staff. But this is not necessary in order for us to do what needs to be done, as was established back in the 60’s.

(4) THE crucial, essential element in effective volunteer monitoring is not government money, but the presence of a small cadre, either professional staff or volunteer people, who are dedicated and who are knowledgeable about the techniques and procedures to be used and can train the other volunteers. If we cannot hire professional staff for this, then it will be necessary for people with professional training in chemistry, biology, etc., to come forward to do it, as we did back in the 60’s and 70’s. See, for example, Proc. Rochester Acad. Sci., Oct. 1982 special edition, Studies of Pollution Control in a Lakefront Community 1964-1981. Government money certainly makes things easier and faster by allowing the use of full-time professional staff (bless them!) and the running of high-ticket projects. But government money is not essential. Dedicated, concerned, angry people are essential.

With best regards,

Dave Wilson


Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:53:24 -0500
From: Nancy Hadley
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] ideas needed — volunteer monitoring “trends”
To: Volunteer water monitoring

I think online data entry is one of the biggest advances. It not only gets the data into your database faster (although perhaps complicating the QA/QC) but it gives the volunteers an additional sense of responsibility and ownership. That is what keeps volunteers in the program. If you just monitor and the data goes away, you are disconnected. the connection is key.

As to new equipment, we are using a dissolved oxygen kit by Chemets which I think is awesome. However, I dont have the sense anybody else is using it. I know it is not yet EPA approved so tht may be why. I would be interested in hearing from anybody who has tried this kit and what they thought.

Nancy Hadley
South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement Program
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)



Volunteer Wage Rates

Comment 1: The url of The Independent Sector site that lists the value of volunteer time, in dollars has been found.

Question 1: Volunteer Hourly Rate for FY05? Is this the volunteer rate we are all using this year?

Comment 1

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 10:36:37 -0400
Subject: [volmonitor] volunteer wage rate

In case you didn’t bookmark this page, here is the url of The Independent Sector
site that lists the value of volunteer time, in dollars.
From the site:
 The value of volunteer time is based on the average hourly earnings of
 all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls
 (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). INDEPENDENT SECTOR
 takes this figure and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe
For 2003, the estimated value is $17.19 per hour.
HOWEVER, please scroll down the page and check out the state-by-staterates.  The dollar value of
volunteer labor varies considerably by State, according to this 2002chart (e.g., it’s much lower in
South Dakota than it is in New York).
Alice Mayio
USEPA (4503T)
(202) 566-1184

Question 1

From: Tony Williams []
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 2:06 PM
To: Volunteer water monitoring
Subject: RE:[volmonitor] [volmonitor]

Volunteer Hourly Rate for FY05?

The volunteer hourly rate for FY05 is $17.55. This rate will be used to
calculate value of service for all volunteers.

Is this the volunteer rate we are all using this year?

If so then I have 3660 vol/hr x $17.55= $64,233.00

Responses to Question 1

Linda Green wrote:

Hi Tony and all,
Here is the source for the $17.55 hourly rate for volunteering in the US in 2004:

URI Watershed Watch uses it to calculate match for grants and/or for calculating the value of our volunteer water quality monitors. The RI Department of Environmental Management has accepted this, as has the University of Rhode Island.
I know that this is not the case everywhere. What have others found?
Linda Green

URI Cooperative Extension Water Quality
Department of Natural Resources Science
1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0804


Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 10:31:33 -0500
From: Jane Brawerman
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] hourly rate for volunteering

Hi Linda and all –

For the past few years have been using a $25 hourly rate for our volunteers trained to conduct technical work, e.g. water quality sampling, field bioassessments, and invertebrate collection and id work, which is accepted by our CT DEP and others for grant match. When I learned from someone that she was distinguishing between technical/management type volunteers and others, and using the $25 rate successfully, I started doing the same. It makes sense, since volunteers perform a wide variety of work, some requiring more training and skill than others.

– Jane

Jane L. Brawerman, Executive Director
Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District
deKoven House Community Center – 27 Washington Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Phone (860) 346-3282
Fax (860) 346-3284


Date: Tue, 06 Dec 2005 10:13:47 -0500
From: Chris Sullivan
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] hourly rate for volunteering

Here in CT I wrote a grant for the watershed group I volunteer with in Branford (Branford River Project) and the 17.55 hourly match was allowed for volunteer time. The proposal was through the CT Rivers Alliance for the State Watershed Assistance in Small Grants program.


Chris Sullivan
Project SEARCH Coordinator
(203) 734-2513
FAX 203-922-7833
Center for Environmental Research Education
Kellogg Environmental Center
500 Hawthorne Ave
Derby, CT 06418


Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2005 10:21:50 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Michael Schenk
Subject: Re:[volmonitor] hourly rate for volunteering

What if the volunteered services are at a professional level, e.g. taxonomy training or GIS work?


Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2005 10:09:47 -0600
From: “Lizotte, Michael”
Subject: Re:[volmonitor] hourly rate for volunteering

While the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources rate for general volunteers is very low ($8/hr), they do allow for volunteer professional services to be charged at the going rate, properly documented.

Mike Lizotte



Water Quality Test Kits


Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 17:30:47 -0500
From: Jerry Schoen
Subject: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

Hello all,
I am trying to put together a list of water testing kits for a variety of WQ indicators – with notation regarding whether kits have received EPA approval. I would appreciate hearing from you about any kits your volunteer monitoring group uses or is familiar with. Any addtional information about EPA approval, either as an approved SOP or by virtue of an approved QAPP wherein the kit is used for a particular WQ indicator, would be appreciated.

Jerry Schoen
Blaisdell House
UMass Amherst MA 01003

545-2304 Fax


Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 07:04:00 -0500
From: Sidney Post
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits


We utilize HACH and LaMotte kits and have done so for the past sixteen years. As far as EPA approval; I’m not sure? we use several of the HACH kits with our utility water quality sampling program (I’ll have to look into this). We have strict training in how to use both HACH and LaMotte kits along with strict QA and QC. Hope this helps in some way.

Sidney Post

Watershed Action Team Coordinator
Sidney Post
624 Filter Plant Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28301


Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 09:28:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

I would suggest containing the manufacturer. TO my knowledge some methods have EPA Approval, but these methods tend to require higher end equipment. Also, even with “strict” QC it is still possible to see variation in the 10 to 20% range.

Brian Oram
Wilkes Univesity
Center for Environmental Quality

We tend to use field kits as a screening tool only. We also like to use water quality meters: such as YSI and others. The meters can be calibrated by one person and typically the meters have internal
diagnostics. It is also important to look at detection limit. For many tests, the detection limit is not low enough or it is necessary to digest a sample for matrix interference.


Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 09:49:29 -0500
From: Geoff Dates
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Water testing kits


It’s been a few years since I looked at this issue, so I hope someone from EPA can clarify. What I discovered is that “EPA-approved” is a term that was used rather loosely by kit manufacturers. Most often, the kits hadn’t gone through any formal review process, but simply were based on an EPA approved method. The most helpful response would address your last sentence by defining the various levels of approval and how one finds out the status of a particular kit.

A great resource is the National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI)web site ( Some verbage from the web site:
NEMI is being developed under the direction of the Methods and Data Comparability Board, a partnership of water-quality experts from Federal agencies, States, Tribes, municipalities, industry, and private organizations. The Methods Board is chartered under the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. NEMI makes finding approved methods a much easier task by allowing the user to simply select the pollutant and regulation of interest. A list of the approved methods, with all relevant modifications required by CFR footnotes will be quickly generated. Furthermore, you can download the approved version of publicly available methods with a single mouse click.

Another source is EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program develops testing protocols and verifies the performance of innovative technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human health and the environment.

Good luck!


Geoff Dates
River Watch Program Director
River Network
Home Office:
231 24D Heritage Condos
Woodstock, VT 05091
802-457-9808 w & h
River Network Web Site:


Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 15:00:07 -0500
From: Linda Green
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

Hi Jerry and vol mon folks,


This isn’t exactly what you are looking for, but may help. At we have an annotated list of suppliers of water monitoring equipment used by vol mon groups.

URI Watershed Watch has a newly EPA-approved QAPP for our field monitoring program at We use LaMotte kits for dissolved oxygen (#5860) and for salinity (#7459). The appendices for that QAPP with the specific procedures (SOP’s) haven’t been posted yet.

As Geoff says in his response to your posting, NEMI National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI)web site ( is a good resource for methods, but it isn’t comprehensive and doesn’t have a lot of of vol mon methods, particularly kits. The methods on the site were nominated by someone and then thoroughly reviewed by selected members of the Methods and Data Comparability Board, which is a very active and fairly autonomous work group of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council. (PS they would love to have some vol mon coordinator members)

Happy New Year to all!

Linda Green

URI Cooperative Extension Water Quality
Department of Natural Resources Science
1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0804


Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 19:09:23 -0500
From: “Picotte, Amy”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Water testing kits

Hi Jerry and other lovely volunteer monitoring people, I don’t have a lot of experience using kits, but through the Project WET program the HACH company has developed several kits for vol. monitors, which I have heard are fabulous. The Healthy Water, Healthy People (Project WET) site will have the info at

Also, in Appendix D of the “Vermont Volunteer Surface Water Monitoring Guide” there is a listing of water testing kit vendors.

Hope this helps some. Happy New Year.

Amy Picotte
Environmental Analyst
DEC-Water Quality Division
103 S. Main St.
Waterbury, VT 05671-0408
Tel. 802-241-3789
fax. 802-241-4537




Homemade Water Monitoring Equipment

Question 1: Would any of you have knowledge of how to make a homemade Kemmerer type sampler for lowering off of bridges and the like?

Question 2: We are looking to construct integrated water samplers for lakes, or if there are inexpensive commercially available integrated samplers.

Question 3: Do any of you have good or bad experience with basket samplers? Suggestions for design of the samplers, or anything we should watch out for? How have your volunteers reacted to them?

Question 4: Does anyone have good instructions for building a macroinvertebrate aquarium?

Question 1

Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 11:02:30 -0400
From: “Jan (Hosier) Sneddon”
Subject: [volmonitor] Fwd: seeking homemade water sampler

Greetings, handy water samplers!

Would any of you have knowledge of how to make a homemade Kemmerer type sampler for lowering off of bridges and the like?

Blueprints would be welcome! 🙂


Responses to Question 1

Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 08:32:27 -0700
From: Eleanor Ely
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Fwd: seeking homemade water sampler

See “Low-Cost Van Dorn Water Sampler” on page 23 of the Fall 1994 issue (vol 6 no 2) of The Volunteer Monitor, and also the second sampler described under “Collecting an Integrated Sample” on page 17 of the Fall 2000 issue (vol 12 no 2). (Back issues are available electronically at Online versions of issues before 2002 have a weird layout because they are not PDFs, but you should still be able to find the information.)

A request: Could anyone replying directly to Jan rather than the whole listserv please copy me on their message?

Thank you.


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


Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 12:39:06 -0400
From: “Schenk, Ann”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Fwd: seeking homemade water sampler

With regard to skewing the DO measurement by using a bucket/ surface water sample, wouldn’t you aerate the sample as soon as you emptied the sampler into another container for DO measurement? Not knowing your DO measurement method (Clark cell, optical probe, Winkler titration), it is hard to say if the collection method would have an impact greater than the measuring method’s accuracy. You’d have to do a lot of splashing and sloshing to exceed the Clark cell accuracy of most meters (anywhere from 0.2 mg/L to 0.5 mg/L for the better cells). Don’t remember off the top of my head the Winkler accuracy and precision. What I do remember is that the quality of the reagents and lighting to see the color change is important to that method.

If you have to have non-surface DO, then, yes, a collection bottle is needed.
I just hope they rinse the bucket in stream water if they are also collecting nutrient chemistry samples.

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


Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 13:19:12 -0400
From: Jeffrey Schloss
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Fwd: seeking homemade water sampler

With regard to collecting a proper DO sample for titration. If you carefully deploy a bucket that is fitted with a spout and tubing that allows you to fill a BOD bottle (specially designed not to trap air bubbles when closed) from the bottom up- and you count how long it takes to fill the bottle up and allow for 2 to 3 full volumes of water to flush through you should have a reasonably uninfluenced/disturbed sample to work with. Just remember that this sample only represents the surface water conditions if you are dealing with a system that has any temperature, current, or density (do to dissolved solids/salts) stratifications. So it would be fine for a mixed system.

Jeff Schloss
Director, NH Lakes Lay Monitoring Program
University of New Hampshire
Center for Freshwater Biology
and UNH Cooperative Extension


Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 00:33:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kimberly Rinard
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Fwd: seeking homemade water sampler

Here is a relatively inexpensive unit available thru Ben Meadows. There are a few others on their website also.
I would think that at $67 for the sampler it would actually be cheaper to buy the sampler until than to try to make one (unless
it does not suit your needs)

Good luck
Kim Rinard

Question 2

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 10:37:04 -0700
From: “Williams, Gene”
Subject: [volmonitor] Integrated Water Sampler

We are looking for plans/designs for constructing integrated water samplers for lakes. Or, if there are commercially available integrated samplers that are inexpensive, we would also be interested in that.

Also, if you have used integrated samplers and have opinions on how well the instruments worked, I would appreciate that.


Gene Williams
Snohomish County Public Works
Surface Water Management
3000 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S 607
Everett, WA 98201-4046
(425) 388-3464 x4563 or

Responses to Question 2

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 13:24:23 -0500
From: “Thorpe, Anthony Paul”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Integrated Water Sampler


We participated in the EPA Lake Survey last year, and they (EPA) gave us these PVC samplers
that worked fairly well. I made a rough sketch, but you’ll need some PVC (I think it might have
been 3 inch…), a connector piece, a rubber stopper and a stopcock valve that can attach to the PVC
pipe you use. EPA gave us a 6 foot sampler, but we cut it in half and added threaded connectors in
the middle for easier transport and for sampling turbid water bodies.

You lower it into the water with the valve open, cap the top when it’s in the water, then raise it
until the valve us just under the surface. Then close the valve and bring it on board your boat.

Open the valve and the water will trickle rapidly into your sample container. Remove the stopper and
the water falls out very quickly.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I can even take a couple of snapshots if you’d like.



PS: I also found this while searching Google Images:
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: Sat, 23 Aug 2008 06:21:02 -0400
From: Jo Latimore
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Integrated Water Sampler


Here in Michigan we developed an integrated sampler that we use for volunteer chlorophyll
monitoring in our statewide Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program. It can be built at reasonable
cost and is easy for volunteers to operate effectively. I will send you the plans separately as an
attachment (and would be happy to share with others who are interested – Editor’s note, these are included below).

CLMP_Chlrophyll_Equipment_Instructions (9 KB pdf file)

CLMP_Chlorophyll_Equipment_Assembly (205 KB pdf file)

CLMP Chlorophyll Sampler Image(33 KB pdf file)

Chlorophyll Procedures 2008 (53 KB pdf file)

(Editor’s note: You can also visit the CLMP site for more information: and look at this section: lake monitoring/CLMP documents)



Jo A. Latimore, Ph.D.
Lake, Stream, & Watershed Outreach
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University
13 Natural Resources
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
(517) 432-1491

Question 3

From: Charles River Watershed Assoc. []
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:33 AM
To: Volunteer water monitoring
Cc: ‘Julie Wood’
Subject: [volmonitor] Experiences with basket samplers?

Hello all,

Charles River Watershed Association has a seventy-person volunteer monthly river water quality monitoring program. We currently use buckets to take samples (mostly off bridges), which are transferred into sample bottles. However, we are in process of switching over to basket samplers so that the water can be collected directly, without the potential for contamination from the bucket.

We have some ideas about the design of these basket samplers, but are still determining exactly what they will look like and be made of – we will be constructing them ourselves. Do any of you have good or bad experience with basket samplers? Suggestions for design of the samplers, or anything we should watch out for? How have your volunteers reacted to them?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!



Rebecca Scibek Wickham
Outreach Coordinator/Office Manager
Charles River Watershed Association
190 Park Road
Weston, MA 02493
Phone 781-788-0007 x200
Fax 781-788-0057

Responses to Question 3

From: Danielle Donkersloot []
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 1:06 PM
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Experiences with basket samplers?

Hello: In 2006 at the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference
I saw this bucket that the CA SWAMP teams use for monitoring and I was
amazed. They are simple to make, easy to use and they work. I have cc’ed
Erick, Regional Citizen Montioring Coordinator, because he was kind enough
to bring his equipment to the conference and I attached some photos. Hope this helps.


Bucket Sampler 2Bucket Sampler 1







From: Erick Burres []

Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 4:41 PM
To:; Danielle Donkersloot
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Experiences with basket samplers?

The Clean Water Team drafted an article on how to make the bucket sampler
but the newsletter was never created. During lunch I put together this
draft SOP (196 KB pdf file). The bucket is out on loan so I had to use some old pictures I
found. If this is helpful please let me know. Perhaps it can be made
better and included on the CWT Website.

Erick Burres
Citizen Monitoring Coordinator
SWRCB-SWAMP-Clean Water Team

Desk (213) 576-6788
Cell (213) 712-6862
Fax (213) 576-6686

Clean Water Team c/o LARWQCB
320 W 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013


From: Erick Burres []
Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2009 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Experiences with basket samplers?

If you would like to view the entire SWAMP Field Methods Course or refer
people to a video, here is the Course’s link,

We would like to update the CD but is has been of a low priority and there
just aren’t any funds to do so. It hasalso been a struggle to get the Course
online and advertised. Fortunately it was included in the SWAMP QA Advisor.
The Advisor can also help your group prepare QAPPs, its inclusion of the
Course has been kept quite.


Erick Burres
Citizen Monitoring Coordinator
SWRCB- Clean Water Team


From: Charles River Watershed Assoc. []
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 3:26 PM
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Experiences with basket samplers?

We’ve created a different type of sampler using a metal basket, based on a MassDEP prototype. I’ve also
attached a photo of the sampler we are currently piloting.

Rebecca Scibek Wickham

Bucket Sampler









Question 4

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 12:32:24 -0600
Subject: [volmonitor] stream aquarium

Does anyone have good instructions for building a macroinvertebrate aquarium? If so, please send them my way.


Vera Bojic, RiverWatch Program Coordinator
National Great Rivers Research & Education Center
Lewis and Clark Community College

Responses to Question 4

Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 15:13:50 -0500
From: “Cooke, Ken (EPPC DEP DOW)”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] stream aquarium

One product I have seen in place that creates an aquarium environment for benthic macroinvertebrates are Mike Strohm’s Creeklab.

He has some educational materials that go with the product as well.


Ken Cooke

KY Water Watch


Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 15:53:04 -0500
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] stream aquarium

There are some simple instructions from the IL Natural History Survey for setting up a classroom-type macroinvertebrate aquarium (including adding a submersible undergravel filter to simulate streamflow) at

but I don’t think it says anything about keeping the water cold once you introduce the macros, so I wonder how long they’d last. Assuming they weren’t eating each other anyway.

Alice Mayio
USEPA (4503T)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 566-1184

Street Address for visitors/deliveries:
EPA West, Room 7424B
1301 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004


Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 16:38:19 -0500
From: David Kirschtel
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] stream aquarium

I’ve been playing around for the past few years with an circular table-top stream (technical term: re-entrant flume) using an angled airlift tube to drive the current.

Basic design is a large clear acrylic ice bucket (straight-sided). The airlift tube is a section of flexible pvc tubing (to fit the curve of the outside wall), angle should be about 45deg., stick it onto the side of the tank with small suction cups.

In the center of the tank silicone a 2L soda bottle – top cut off and small holes in the bottom and top to allow water to flow through. This is to channelize the flow and keep the velocity up also, velocity would drop to zero at the center anyway.

In the warm weather you can place a 1L soda bottle filled with water and frozen in the center as “refrigeration” to keep the temp down.

Add slimy rocks in the bottom of the tank. Illuminate with desktop halogen lamp. You’re good to go.

Been able to keep a few mayflies to hatch. Also, in both tanks that I’ve set up, I’ve wound up with healthy populations of freshwater hydra.

I think that I’ve got some photos at home that I can post tomorrow, as well as some video of inverts (mostly mayflies) , if anyone is interested.

======================================================================== ========
David Kirschtel, Ph.D.
National Ecological Observatory Network – National Project Office
1444 I St, NW, #200 – Washington, DC 20005
email: – tel: 202.628.1500×240


Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 15:55:33 -0500
From: David Kirschtel
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] stream aquarium

Just tried to send a set of images to the list but the message was rejected by the listserv because it contained attachments. For the time being I’ll have to send them directly to individuals, until I can find some web space.

Send me an email message and I’ll send a set of images to you, zipped. I have image sets of both the tank and some closeups of some of some of the insect larvae. Also have a short QT movie of two
planaria attacking a first instar mayfly (1.6MB)

So far Karen Anderson and Chris Andersen have requested images — I’ll send those out right after this message.


– David

======================================================================== ========
David Kirschtel, Ph.D.
National Ecological Observatory Network – National Project Office
1444 I St, NW, #200 – Washington, DC 20005
email: – tel: 202.628.1500×240


Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 15:50:55 -0600
From: Kris Stepenuck
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] stream aquarium


There’s one I am aware of called Carry Creek. Here’s a web link to it:


Kris Stepenuck


Bacteria Monitoring

Question 1: Does anyone know of an easy to use bacteria sampling protocol that could be used by trained volunteers?

Question 2: Is anyone using enterococci as an indicator species for monitoring ambient water?

Question 1

Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 10:58:41 -0400
From: Gracia O’Neill


Does anyone have any recommendations for an easy to use bacteria sampling protocol that could be used by trained volunteers?

We run an advanced volunteer benthic sampling program in western NC, that partners with a university-run chemical sampling program, which provides date directly to our state water quality agency. Therefore we are looking for an inexpensive and easy to use, yet accurate protocol. We have access to e-coli (not total coliform) incubators, but no other supplies at this time.

Are there any recommendations on whether to sample for e-coli vs. total coliform?



Gracia O’Neill
Assistant Director
Clean Water for North Carolina
29 1/2 Page Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 251-1291

Responses to Question 1

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 02:24:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kimberly Rinard


Check out the 9223 Collilert Total Coliform methods. It requires minimum labor/training regarding staff as you collect your sample in a sterile 125ml bottle then add a packet. Mix the packet in the sample according to directions, then incubate for “x” hours(pretty sure it is 18hrs) The QT method is typically used for “raw” waters such as surface waters(lakes, streams, ponds etc) or untreated drinking water wells(pre chlorination) The QT method will also allow you to get a colony count.

The 9223_PA method is typically used for chlorinated waters(drinking water) where the only result needed is absence/presence . The PA method will also allow you to do E Coli on the same sample.

Any bacteria present in your sample will generate a gas thru a fermentation process as they react/consume the stuff in the packet that is added to the sample. Total Coliform Results are determined by the presence of a color change. The Collilert method will also allow you to do E Coli on the same sample as, a sample positive for E Coli will change color under UV light.

I know many town beaches/state programs require the 1103.1 Beach method for E Coli but I am not familiar with how it is run. The other methods out there are 9222B Membrane Filtration for Total Coliform, and 9222D Fecal Coliform, 9215(E?) Heterotrophic Plate Count

Pay careful attention to samples that are turbid/cloudy as this will affect the interpretation of the color change after incubation. Dilutions should be run whenever necessary, especially during times of high runoff, to avoid the “colonies too numerous too count” results.

Good luck and feel free to write back!

Kim Rinard
Granby, Mass


Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 08:41:24 -0400
From: Ann Reid

Check the Volunteer Monitor issue on bacteria…

Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 13:58:08 -0400
From: Kirk Barrett

We use coliscan easygel (see )

in our program ( ).

They are easy to use. it will give you both e coli and total coliforms.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether to classify a colony

as purple (e coli) or not. The other problem is that you don’t know exactly how much

inoculum to use a priori, so you probably should try multiple volumes.

If you use 3, it comes out to be ~$5/test.


How are you going to get the samples to the incubators?



Kirk Barrett


Dr. Kirk R. Barrett, PE, PWS, Director, Passaic River Institute

Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave. ML 116, Montclair, NJ 07043

phone: 973-655-7117 email:



Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 13:30:38 -0700
From: Eleanor Ely

Hello Gracia,


Sorry for the delay in responding; I have been out of town. Hopefully by now you have found the Winter 2006 issue of The Volunteer Monitor, with many articles on bacteria testing. The Summer 2008 issue has a follow-up letter to the editor on one of the methods (MI agar). Both can be found


Good luck!



Eleanor Ely

Editor, The Volunteer Monitor Newsletter

50 Benton Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94112


Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2008 16:27:35 -0500
From: Kris Stepenuck

Hi Gracia

We did a three year study in six states in the upper Midwest and came up with a few methods that were particularly volunteer-friendly – some of which have already been mentioned (i.e., Coliscan Easygel), but there’s also 3M Petrifilm.  66% of our volunteers liked that method over the Coliscan Easygel because they had a hard time differentiating between blue and teal colonies in the Easygel method.  Though, the 3M method isn’t EPA approved for water testing, it did have the statistically strongest relation to state lab methods for assessing E. coli bacteria in streams in our study.

Here’s a website with our methods manual and other project information:

Kris Stepenuck

Question 2

From: Eleanor Ely
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 4:24 PM
To: Volunteer water monitoring
Subject: [volmonitor] enterococci, anyone?

Dear friends,

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who is using enterococci as an indicator species for monitoring ambient water (including recreational waters). What analytical method are you using? Is the analysis done by volunteers, by program staff, or at an outside laboratory?

Thanks a lot!


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

Responses to Question 2

From: Sumner, Sara []
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 5:55 AM
Subject: RE: volmonitor digest: January 17, 2006

Hello Ellie,

I was forwarded your message by our Volunteer Lake Assessment Program
Coordinator.  I coordinate New Hampshire’s Beach Inspection Program.
Currently, we use Enterococci as our recreational water standard for
marine waters.  We use EPA’s 24 hour Method 1600 for Enterococci.  This
is also a membrane filtration method.  See the link below.

Previously, we employed the 48 hour method.  We receive funding from EPA
based on the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Health Act (BEACH)
Grants.  Due to the funding and quality assurance requirements, we now
use the 24 hour method mentioned above.

We also have purchased the IDEXX Enterolert equipment.  The problem we
have is ordering media and assuring the media will be delivered on time.
Our QAPP will soon go back for review so we have the option of using
IDEXX when we are waiting for media delivery.  Right now, we are not
making an official switch to the IDEXX method.

Our standard operating procedure for the analysis of Enterococci
includes the 48 and 24 hour methods, as well as the IDEXX method.  The
IDEXX Enterolert instruction brochure and MPN chart are referenced in
the SOP.  I do not conduct the analyses myself, so I’m not sure if our
laboratory made modifications to the method.  We use our in-house state
laboratory for all analyses.  They are NELAP certified.  We do not use
volunteers for analysis, but do use volunteers for sample collection.

As I mentioned previously, we receive BEACH Act grant funding.  Many
states use Enterococci as indicators for recreational waters.  You may
want to contact the Grant Coordinators or Regional Coordinators.  See
the link below:

I hope this has been helpful.  If you have additional questions, please
let me know.

Thank you,

Sara Sumner
Beach Program
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
Watershed Management Bureau
29 Hazen Dr., PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
Phone:  603-271-8803
Fax:  603-271-7894
Subject: RE: enterococci, anyone?
From: “URI Watershed Watch”
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 17:33:00 -0500
X-Message-Number: 2

We have been running enterococci analyses for a couple of years in the
URI Watershed Watch laboratories on volunteer collected samples using
Standard Method 9230 C – Membrane filtration for members of the enterococci. This
requires a 48 hour incubation, in comparison to our membrane filtration
for fecal coliform and E. coli, which leads to scheduling and reporting. In
addition as many of these samples have also been analyzed for fecal
coliform and E.coli, it has been interesting figuring how to answer the question
“is it safe to swim in my lake/river/beach?” Often that has depended on
which indicator you wanted to use – ugh!

We just purchased an IDEXX sealer and accessories, and are about to
embark on the Rhode Island Department of Health preferred method Enterolert
method, which promises reduced labor along with only a 24 hour incubation, but
will also mean amending our laboratory quality assurance project plan
(another ugh!)

I am very interested in the experiences of others with the IDEXX system
– and particularly interested in receiving copies of SOPs for those

Thanks, Elizabeth Herron
Program Coordinator
URI Watershed Watch
Phone: 401-874-4552
Fax: 401-874-4561



ATV Education to Discourage Erosion


From: Water Quality Discussion List [mailto:WQ-L@LISTSERV.URI.EDU] On
Behalf Of Greg Jennings
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 8:25 AM
Subject: any education programs on ATV riding in streams?

Does anybody have an education program to discourage damage to streams
from ATV riding?

Thanks, Greg

Greg Jennings, PhD, PE
Professor & Extension Specialist
Biological & Agricultural Engineering
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC


Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 13:24:48 -0400
From: “Straut-Esden, Ann”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] FW: any education programs on ATV riding in streams?

Michigan appears to have a course/handbook:

As does Wyoming:

One state link (Iowa I think) lead me here:

And here’s an educational group you can contact that I’ve worked with
from both sides (consumer and protector) that has some ORV info:



Ann A. Straut-Esden
Voice: 860-509-7333 Fax: 860-509-7359


Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 10:54:10 -0500

At a forest preserve where I am a steward near Chicago, we have a
problem with mountain bikers riding illegally on unauthorized trails,
especially along a stream that flows through a ravine area. Much bank
erosion has resulted in the degradation of vegetation and soil loss to
the streambed. If anyone can reference any website that has educational
information related to off-trail mountain biking as well, that would be

Thanks, Pete Jackson


Aquatic Plant Monitoring


Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 10:57:41 -0500
From: “Kristine F. Stepenuck”
Subject: [volmonitor] Aquatic plant ID guide for streams?

Hi EPA list serve participants-
I wonder if anyone can recommend a good aquatic plant ID guide for streams?  We have a monitoring group here in Wisconsin looking for such a book that covers river plants, not only lake plants.  One idea I had was “Through the Looking Glass” published here in WI, but it’s be great to have some other ideas as well. Thanks for your help!
Kris Stepenuck
Water Action Volunteers/ Volunteer Stream Monitoring Coordinator
UW-Extension and WI Department of Natural Resources
210 Hiram Smith Hall
1545 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1289
Phone: 608-265-3887
Fax: 608-262-2031


Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 10:03:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob williams
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Aquatic plant ID guide for streams?

Aquatic Plants of Illinois.  $5 from IL STATE MUSEUM
Bob Williams

Rivers Project

Elaine Snouwaert:

There’s a guide available online that focuses on Washington State aquatic plants. But the person ( who sent the link thought that it would have some overlap of plants outside WA, which makes sense.  It’s at:

From: “Drociak, Jen”
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 06:01:23 -0400
Subject: NHDES “A Field Guide To Common Riparian Plants of New Hampshire”Publication Now On-Line!

Hello Everyone!

It is with much anticipation and excitement (after 10 months!) that I announce the completion of the first edition of “A Field Guide to Common Riparian Plants of New Hampshire.” It is currently published as a PDF via the NHDES Volunteer River Assessment Program website and can be viewed by visiting At this point, the publication is only available on-line. Should circumstances change and it becomes available as a hard-copy, I will let you know.

This full-color field guide was created for both VRAP volunteers and others to assist in identifying common native and non-native riparian plant species. Over 70 plant species are described in the text, with additional live specimen scans and habitat photos.

The field guide is organized into six sections:
In the Water: Submerged Aquatic Plants: Plants that have most of their leaves growing under water; some floating leaves may also be present. They are found from shallow to deep zones.
On the Edge: Emergent Herbaceous Plants: Plants that have leaves that extend above the water’s surface and are usually found in shallow water.
Ferns: Non-flowering plants that bear spores rather than seeds with flattened leaf-like “fronds” that are further divided.
Woody Shrubs: Woody plants which are generally shorter than trees and smaller in trunk size. They have clusters of stems rising directly from the ground and generally have a “bushy” appearance with no special crown shape.
C limbing Vines: Plants with a weak stem that derive support from climbing, twining, or creeping along a surface.
The Canopy (Trees): Woody plants that usually grow from the ground with a single erect stem or trunk. The main stem may be massive and is often unbranched for several feet above the ground. Trees can reach a considerable height at maturity.

Plant species descriptions include the following:
Status: Whether the plant is native or non-native/exotic/invasive. Those plants that are non-native/exotic/invasive which are also prohibited in New Hampshire are identified as such.
Habitat: Describes the best conditions for growth of this plant and where to locate it.
Height: Describes how tall or long the plant grows.
Bark: In the Woody Shrub and Tree sections, describes the unique features of the bark.
Buds: In the Woody Shrub and Tree sections, describes the unique features of the buds.
Stem: In the Woody Shrub section, describes the unique features of the stem.
Leaves: Describes the unique features of the leaves.
Flowers: Describes the unique features of the flowers.
Flowering Period: Describes the time of year in which the flowers bloom.
Fruit: Describes the unique features of the fruit.
Twigs: In the Woody Shrub and Tree sections, describes the unique features of the twigs.
Value: Explains the worth of the plant to the other members of the ecosystem.
Similar Species: Describes the unique features to help distinguish this plant from others. Additional information about some of the related plants is also provided.

In addition, appendices to this field guide include:
Appendix A: Other Helpful Field Guides
Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
Appendix C: Leaf Shapes and Arrangements
Appendix D: Native Shoreland/Riparian Buffer Plantings for New Hampshire

Should anyone have any comments/suggestions for a second edition (most likely next summer), please let me know and I’d be happy to consider them.


Jen Drociak
Volunteer River Assessment Program Coordinator
NH Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive – PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302
p- (603) 271-0699 f-(603) 271-7894

“People today recognize fewer than 10 plants but over 1000 corporate logos” – AdBusters


Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 10:26:56 -0500
From: Kris Stepenuck
Subject: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi all-

I’m wondering if your volunteer monitoring programs have aquatic invasive species monitoring methods that you can share? I’m curious what is monitored by volunteers in terms of aquatic invasive species.


Kris Stepenuck

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: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:34:10 -0400
From: “Picotte, Amy”
Subject: FW: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
Cc: “Matthews, Leslie”

I’m copying Leslie Matthews with your inquiry. Leslie has started up a
new volunteer program here in Vermont, called the Volunteer Invasive
Patrollers (VIPs). She has a set training program that includes
identifying aquatic native and non-native animal and plant species,
which makes for a terrific educational opportunity for the volunteers.
The volunteers are equipped with viewing scopes and given data sheets to
use for reporting their findings. I’ll let Leslie fill in the details,
but I think the program is off (started in 2007) to a fantastic start.

(Leslie, Kris has worked a lot with Linda Green — We worked with Linda
last week at the New England Lakes Conference.)

Amy Picotte
Environmental Analyst
Lakes and Ponds Section
DEC-Water Quality Division
103 S. Main St.
Waterbury, VT 05671-0408
Tel. 802-241-3789
fax. 802-241-4537

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:54:58 -0400
From: Jo Latimore
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,

Michigan’s Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program is piloting an “Exotic
Aquatic Plant Watch” program, focused on Eurasian water milfoil, Hydrilla,
and curly-leaf pondweed. See the methods and materials here (scroll to the

Even though we have lots of volunteers actively monitoring traditional lake
parameters like Secchi depth, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll, we’ve had
difficulty getting volunteers to sign up for the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch
– perhaps due to the detailed procedure (fairly time consuming) or the
enrollment cost ($60, includes confirmation of any of the “big three” exotic
plants identified by volunteers).

However, the training for the program is VERY popular – people like to learn
how to identify invasives, but seem more interested in “watching” for them
on their own, than documenting them for an organized program.


Jo Latimore, Ph.D.
Lake, Stream, & Watershed Outreach
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University
13 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
(517) 432-1491

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:01:03 -0500
From: “Herman, Laura J – DNR”

The Wisconsin Citizen Lakes Monitoring Network has an invasives monitoring manual
covering a number of species. The manual is available online at:
Laura Herman
Citizen Lake Monitoring Network Educator
107 Sutliff Ave.
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(() phone: (715) 346-3989 (Stevens Point)
(() phone: (715) 365-8998 (Rhinelander)
(() fax: (715) 365-8932
(+) e-mail:
(+) e-mail:

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:07:37 -0500
From: Erik Olson
Subject: RE: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?


Our volunteers monitor and control Purple Loosestrife on Wisconsin’s
third largest lake the Chippewa Flowage. Since our funding is running
out we have transitioned the program over to the Chippewa Flowage Area
Property Owners Association (linked from my web page). They helped us
get an inventory of PL and data associated with each infestation for
management and research.

Here is a link to the web page for our volunteer program for
more information. (I am definitely not a web page designer!)

Miigwech for your interest,

Erik Olson
Natural Resource Specialist
LCO Ojibwe Community College

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 09:08:11 -0700
From: Eleanor Ely
Subject: RE: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

**Apologies for cross-posting**

Kris’s query is very timely from my point of view. The current issue of The
Volunteer Monitor (Summer 2008, on the topic of “Doing Science, Taking
Action”) is in final layout and soon I will be starting work on the next
issue, whose topic will be “Monitoring Invasive Species.” So I would love to
see any replies to this topic.

I am also interested in other aspects of invasive species monitoring besides
what species are monitored and by what methods. For example, I’m interested
in how volunteers are trained; what actions groups have taken to control or
remove invasive species; outcomes of those efforts; validation of
volunteers’ invasive species data; hurdles and challenges of invasive
species monitoring; lessons learned (i.e., how programs have evolved and
improved over time); and anything else that seems interesting or useful.


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

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:25:14 -0500
From: Chris Riggert
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,

In Missouri we have been teaching and implementing a zebra mussel monitoring
activity that our Stream Team WQM Volunteers can do while they are at their monitoring
location. It is taught as part of the Introductory Level workshop, I tried attaching the chapter
we provide as part of their notebook, but it didn’t like the attachment. However, you can find it
online at:

The protocol is basically to look on hard surfaces at their monitoring location, although they can
sink a cinder block at their site for “artificial” substrate.

The form is the last page of the chapter, and is also available as an online submission

We have about a dozen or so that actively report they are monitoring (either by the form, or on an
Activity Report), but we’ve had about 2,500 individuals sit through the Intro workshop since we started
presenting information on Zebra Mussels in 2000. So I would suspect there are more individuals that be
able to recognize and report finding these if they showed up at their monitoring location.

I would be happy to send you the PowerPoint presentation, but will have to burn it to a disk and snail mail it
(it’s over 16 mb and big enough our server won’t let it out and play, ha!).


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, 23 Jun 2008 09:43:49 -0700
From: Streamkeepers
Subject: RE: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,

I’ve attached our Noxious Weeds monitoring protocol (28 KB pdf file), data sheet (61 KB pdf file), and a
proposed current-impact-on-habitat grading system (13 KB pdf file) to turn the data into
a score that can be correlated with other water-quality scores such as

Our state mandates Noxious Weed Control Boards in each county, and we do
this monitoring in conjunction with that office. They helped us design
the protocol and data sheet, and we turn in all data collected to them.
They then follow up as appropriate.

Noxious Weed education and identification are an important part of the
training we provide to our volunteers.

and a P.S. from a later email…

For a 10 MB slideshow our county weed coordinator

Cheers, Ed

Ed Chadd & Adar Feller
Streamkeepers of Clallam County
Clallam County Department of Community Development
223 E. 4 St., Suite 5
Port Angeles, WA 98362
360-417-2281; FAX 360-417-2443

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 09:54:21 -0700
From: Trevor Hare
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Kris -Sky Island Alliance has used volunteers to survey for bullfrogs for
years using simple protocols based on leopard frog survey protocols.
Basically approaching a water body or lotic system slowly, scanning the
water and banks for frogs, then walking the perimeters to get plop counts.
If frogs are seen and no positive id is made we will then go in and seine or
dipnet. We also record any non-native vegetation associated w/ the riparian
areas, along with size of the body, water amounts, turbidity (by eye), other
aquatic critters, etc. -Trevor

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:14:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kelly Stettner
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
To: Volunteer water monitoring

Maine’s Center for Invasive Plants has a terrific-sounding training program. Get ahold of Roberta with questions. I’m in Vermont, and Roberta gave a terrific presentation at a recent conference of NALMS, North American Lake Management Society.

Black River Action Team (BRAT)
45 Coolidge Road
Springfield, VT 05156

From: Kris Stepenuck []
Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:02 AM
Subject: Fwd: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Roberta-

Kelly Stettner from Vermont recently saw you present at NALMS about aquatic invasive species volunteer monitoring. I wonder what your group is monitoring for and how much training people are provided?


Kris Stepenuck

Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2008 15:30:06 -0400
Subject: RE: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
To: ‘Kris Stepenuck’

Hi Kris.

Our Invasive Plant Patrol monitors are trained to conduct screening surveys for the eleven IAP listed by Maine law as imminent threats. They also are encouraged to be alert to other species (plants, animals, and algae) on Maine’s radar. Our introductory workshop is 5.5 hours long. We also have several advanced training opportunities. We have trained about 1700 people since our first workshop in 2001. We also provide training for SCUBA divers and other individuals involved in IAP control projects in the state. Here is a link to more information about our IAS training on our website. Click on workshop title for a full description of each workshop.

You may also want to check out the invasives section of the 2007 Maine Lakes Report, also online at It provides a more thorough account of our program.

We appreciate your interest. Please let us know if we can be any further service.



Roberta Hill
Program Director, Center for Invasive Aquatic Plants
24 Maple Hill Road, Auburn, ME 04210

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 18:48:43 +0000
Subject: Re: [CSREESVolMon] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?

Hi Kris,
The Alliance for a Living Ocean relies totally on volunteers to do water
quality testing in the bay and watershed . We do not monitor the bay for
aquatic invasive species. However, we have been invaded by Sea Nettles
and Asian Shore Crabs.

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:46:55 -0400
From: “Matthews, Leslie”
Subject: RE: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?
To: “Picotte, Amy” ,

Kris –

To follow up on Amy’s note – visit the VIPs web site here:

VIPs monitor mostly for aquatic invasive plants (depending on the
audience I teach ID for 7-11 plants on our watch list). They also get
some training in animals, especially zebra mussels, rusty crayfish and a
couple of fish (round gobies, alewife).

I’d be happy to provide more information…



Leslie J. Matthews, Ph.D.
Environmental Scientist
Water Quality Division
Department of Environmental Conservation

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
103 South Main Street, 10 North
Waterbury, VT 05671
802-241-3798 (office)
802-498-3051 (mobile)

Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 16:30:48 -0400
From: Ann Reid
Subject: Non Native species monitoring

Great Bay Coast Watch has just joined the MIMIC program with ME-RI-MA-CT-VT contact for the whole scoop..

Adrienne Pappal
Aquatic Invasive Species Program
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
251 Causeway St.
Boston, MA 02114

Ann S. Reid
Coordinator Great Bay Coast Watch
Kingman Farm Hse/UNH
Durham,NH 03824


Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 14:40:50 -0700
From: Erick Burres
Subject: Fwd: [volmonitor] Aquatic invasive species monitoring?


In CA many Aquatic AIS are tracked through Citizen monitors engaging in bioassessment. Many groups are involved in monitoring vegetation which would include Plant-AIS, certain species are tracked separately. Special protocols and training have been offered through university extension for Eur-Asian mussel monitoring (Valerie Borel, Watershed and Wildland Fire Education Coordinator, University of California Cooperative Extension-Los Angeles, 4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA  90022, 323-260-3851, . CA Dept of Fish and Game has fish monitoring protocols that are sometimes used by volunteers. Some partnerships have involved citizen monitors and CA Parks in removing Aquatic-AIS. I assume that they measured their effectiveness.


Erick Burres
Citizen Monitoring Coordinator
SWRCB- Clean Water Team

Visit the Clean Water Team at:

You can self-subscribe to the Clean Water Team’s E-Mailing List. To subscribe visit and check the box marked
Citizen Monitoring Program/Clean Water Team.

Contact me at:
Desk (213) 576-6788
Cell (213) 712-6862
Fax (213) 576-6686

320 West 4th Street, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90013


Age of Volunteer Lake Monitoring Programs


Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 09:30:41 -0500
From: “Hudson, Holly”
Subject: [volmonitor] age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?

Good morning everyone–

I’m trying to figure out how the Illinois Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program compares in age to other statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs. A quick web search shows that several programs claim to be “one of the oldest in the county” (including Illinois’ program which was established in 1981). Does anyone know if such a chronological list has been compiled?


Holly Hudson
Principal Environmental Analyst
NE Illinois VLMP Coordinator
Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission
222 S Riverside Plz Ste 1800
Chicago IL 60606
ph: 312/454-0400, ext. 302
fax: 312/454-0411


Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 10:54:42 -0400
From: URI Watershed Watch
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?Hello and Happy Spring Holly (and all):Sorry, but the data that we have pulled together for various ‘history’ of volunteer monitoring puts a number of statewide lakes programs ahead of Illinois (1971-78).Below is a brief chronology as we have compiled it:1890 National Weather Service – 11,500 volunteers, 500 stations, +100 years
1900 National Audubon Society – Christmas Bird Count
1954 National Marine Fisheries Service – game fish tagging
1969 Izaak Walton League – SOS, river & stream monitoring
1971-78 Maine, Minnesota, Michigan and NH – statewide lakes monitoring
1985 RI and Chesapeake Bay – estuary monitoring
1988 1st National Volunteer Monitoring Conference – 85 attend
1989 1st Issue of The Volunteer Monitor Newsletter

Happy Monitoring…

Elizabeth Herron
URI Watershed Watch
Phone: 401-874-4552
Fax: 401-874-4561

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 09:57:50 -0500
From: “Filbert, Jennifer”
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?

Wisconsin’s Self-Help Citizen Lake Monitoring Network began in 1986.

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 11:03:56 -0400
From: Bob Carlson
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?

The oldest lake program I know of is now called the Ontario Lake Partner
Program. It was started in 1972. In the US, the first program was started
in Minnesota in 1973 at the University of Minnesota. It subsequently was
taken over by the State and has become, I believe, the largest volunteer
lake monitoring program in the world. Hats off to thee, Minnesota!

Maine and Michigan came in about then as well.

At the Madison Volunteer Monitoring Meeting, someone was putting together a history of volunteer monitoring. Did that ever get published?

Bob Carlson
Professor, Biological Sciences Phone: 330 672 3992
Kent State University Fax: 330 672 3713
Kent OH 44242 E-mail:
See the latest on the Secchi Dip-In at

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 11:17:57 -0400
From: “Lamoreaux, Andrea M”
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?

To add to the chronological list of volunteer lake monitoring programs…

The New Hamsphire Department of Environmental Services’ Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (NH VLAP) was initiated in 1985 with one lake. In 2003, 154 lakes and approximately 500 volunteers participated in NH VLAP.


Andrea LaMoreaux

Andrea LaMoreaux
Volunteer Lake Assessment Program Coordinator
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PO Box 95
29 Hazen Drive
Concord, New Hampshire 03302-0095

Telephone: (603) 271-2658
Fax: (603) 271-7894

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 09:31:51 -0700
From: Eleanor Ely
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?

Virginia Lee wrote an article titled “Volunteer Monitoring : A Brief History” for the Spring 1994 issue of The Volunteer Monitor newsletter . The timeline included in that article basically agrees with the timeline below from Elizabeth Herron, except that the newsletter article puts the dates for the earliest lake monitoring programs as 1973-1974 for Minnesota , Michigan, and Maine.

(Elizabeth, where did you get that 1971 figure, and which program does it refer to?)

To read Virginia’s article, see the EPA web site for back issues of the newsletter, at


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

Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 13:47:26 -0400
From: VLMP
Subject: [volmonitor] RE: age of statewide volunteer lake monitoring programs?


In Maine, volunteer lake monitors were involved informally with the state DEP starting 1971. In 1974 the program formalized into the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.

We use the “one of the oldest…” line.

Jim Roby-Brantley

Program Assistant
Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program
24 Maple Hill Road
Auburn, Maine 04210

207 783-7733


Advocacy Rules of Engagement


Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007
From: Michele Wheeler
Subject: [volmonitor] Advocacy Rules of engagement

Hi there folks,

Our organization has traditionally steered clear of an advocacy role as we’ve been building relationships with our largely rural residents. But we are now revisiting this stance.

Do any of you have a set of guidelines, criteria or a written/generally understood policy for when, how, what issues with respect to advocacy in your organization?



Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 12:56:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Advocacy Rules of engagement

Friends of Five Creeks, an 11-year-old group that does mostly hands-on restoration, requires that advocacy be directly related to “our” watersheds, consensus of our board (or members at a meeting, but this time never works out) before taking controversial stands, and approval of letters or public statements if time allows — otherwise prompt notice to the board. Also, only one spokesperson/letter writer unless delegated. None of “directly related,” “controversial” or “consensus” is defined in our bylaws, but this has worked well for us in keeping our organization harmonious and allowing us to take stands on important issues, including broad ones, without veering too far off course or getting distracted.

Susan Schwartz, president
Friends of Five Creeks

Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 14:40:05 -0400
From: Nancy Hadley

What type of organization do you have? Is it private, state, what?

Nancy Hadley
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
SCORE program
PO Box 12559
217 Fort Johnson Road
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 953-9841

Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 07:44:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Michele Wheeler
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Advocacy Rules of engagement
To: Volunteer water monitoring

We’re a non-profit 501 c3