DEC seeks volunteers to assess water

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation is recruiting participants for the 2018 summer sampling season to conduct water-quality assessments in streams and rivers as part of the State’s Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators project known as WAVE.

WAVE data collected by volunteers augment the work of DEC’s Stream Biomonitoring Unit, which samples streams and rivers across the state to create an inventory of stream-water quality. Citizen monitors will provide valuable information to identify healthy stream sites and flag sites with potential concerns, according to a release from the DEC.

These data are included in federal and state water-quality reports and help to target professional assessments and local restoration or conservation efforts to where they are most needed.

Participants visit stream sites once per year, anytime between July 1 and Sept. 30, and collect insects and other small organisms from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.

If six or more of the “Most Wanted” organisms are found, the stream segment is assessed as having no known impacts and fully supporting aquatic life. If mostly “Least Wanted” organisms are found, the stream segment is flagged for further evaluation.

All New Yorkers are eligible to participate in WAVE by:

— Getting trained in the WAVE method by visiting the WAVE Training Sessions Page:https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/96063.html;

— Finding a WAVE team by contacting wave@dec.ny.gov;

— Signing the WAVE waiver;

— getting equipment: A limited number of kick nets and sample vials are available through the Equipment Loan Program. Email for an application; and

— Staying in the loop: WAVE announcements are distributed through DEC’s email list serve. To sign up, enter your email address in the blue “DEC Delivers” box on http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/92229.html.

For more information, contact WAVE Coordinator Alene Onion by email: wave@dec.ny.gov.

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