Training for the Stream Team
Escondido Travel Blog› entry 6 of 16 › view all entries
March 27th, 2010 – by: cneoridium
It's actually an interesting setup. The State of California has no money to monitor water quality in it's streams, so some of the creative members of the Regional Water Quality Control Board set up a program to get citizen volunteers to do the fun part of the monitoring - hiking out to creeks and assessing the habitat, so they just have to deal with analyzing the results with the skeleton of a staff that's left.
The old way of doing it was to hire companies to collect water samples, then spend a fortune to send them to labs for analysis. Plan two, not having any funding anymore, you evaluate the water quality based on what's living in the stream.
Actually anyone can get involved, and in most cases it takes two days of training and one day a year of sampling in a local stream. There are like a hundred local water monitoring groups in California, all working under SWAMP (Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program) so if you ever want to get involved in such a thing, google Stream Team and your local area. The government page of it is http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/swamp/ , but being a typical government agency, it's not that easy to find what you're looking for on the page.
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