Citizen volunteers attend one or more AWW workshops to become certified monitors of water quality. In the workshops, participants learn simple techniques for measuring various chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water, such as dissolved oxygen (DO) and bacterial concentrations. All monitors attend refresher courses to maintain proper sampling techniques and replenish their test kits with fresh chemical reagents.
The volunteer monitors help the AWW program keep accurate water quality data, and present the information to watershed residents, regulatory agencies, policy makers and other interested citizens. The citizen data set has become one of the most important sources of water quality information for Wolf Bay.
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Members completed a landscape project around the Veterans Flag Pole at the Miflin
Community Center in early 2007
In addition to water quality monitoring, WBWW volunteers participate in Coastal Cleanups for litter removal and promote recycling and other environmentally friendly practices. WBWW also collects aluminum cans from members and sells them as a source of income to buy supplies. Their program of selling recycled birdhouses and squirrel feeders reduces construction waste, attracts wildlife to the area and raises funds for other environmental activities.
WBWW's work has attracted the attention of local policy makers, including some Baldwin County Commissioners, who attend group meetings and provide financial support for group outreach to the community.
Why is Volunteer Monitoring Important?
Watershed residents want to be personally involved with monitoring and protection, to determine water quality near their homes and favorite swimming and fishing sites and to be a part of development decisions.
Advantages of Local, Citizen-Based Water Monitoring
- Large number of sampling sites
- Frequent and consistent sampling
- "Eyes and ears" for waterbody changes and pollution...early
warning system or first alert
- Neighbor-to-neighbor persuasion of polluters
- Local awareness and public outreach
- Fast response time to detect and measure polluted runoff,
invasive aquatic weeds and other changes
- Important data supplement to agency and research studies
- Science-based, citizen-involved action plans
Take a look at our latest newsletter to get an idea of the variety of activities WBWW volunteers are involved in!!