Become a Monitor
Learn how to become a trained volunteer to monitor the conditions of your local stream, lake, estuary, or wetlands. By becoming a volunteer monitor, you will learn about water resources, provide information to decisions makers, and join a network of dedicated individuals. To learn how to become involved in a citizen water quality monitoring program in Virginia, contact a representative of Virginia Citizens for Water Quality or Stuart Torbeck, DEQ’s Water Quality Data Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, see the following Websites:
- Virginia Citizens for Water Quality – http://vcwq.wordpress.com/
- Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Citizen Water Quality Monitoring
- Virginia Save Our Streams – http://www.vasos.org/
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Volunteer Monitoring – http://www.epa.gov/polluted-runoff-nonpoint-source-pollution/nonpoint-source-volunteer-monitoring
National Monitoring Events
The Secchi Dip-In (July)
Demonstrates the potential of volunteer monitors to gather environmentally important information on lakes, rivers, and estuaries. Volunteers have been submitting information during the annual Dip-In since 1994. The Secchi Dip-In is part of Lakes Appreciation Month, in July. The website includes ways to get involved and more: https://www.nalms.org/secchidipin/.
Virginia Waterways Cleanup/International Coastal Cleanup (September-October)
Volunteers across Virginia gather along the shorelines of rivers, lakes, ponds and bays to pick up trash as part of the Virginia Waterways Cleanup Day (part of the International Coastal Cleanup). They also complete “International Coastal Cleanup Data Cards” from the Ocean Conservancy, helping to collect valuable information about the amounts, types and sources of debris found along Virginia’s waterways. To learn how to be a team leader or how to participate, see http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/.
EarthEcho Water Challenge (March 22-December 31)
Formerly known as World Water Monitoring Day, this international education and outreach program builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Participants sample local water bodies for a core set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). To participate, groups and individuals may submit data collected anytime between March 22 (World Water Day) to December 31. Results are shared with participating communities around the globe through the website: http://monitorwater.org/.
World Water Monitoring Day Activity Guide for Virginia – This on-line guide is designed to help plan a safe and educational World Water Monitoring Day event on school grounds or in a nearby park.