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Stream Monitoring Program Takes a Water Quality Snapshot of Monongahela National Forest

posted Aug 4, 2014, 8:02 AM by David Lillard
On Saturday August 2nd, dozens of citizen scientists with the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Project participated in Snapshot Day, a one-day water quality monitoring event in the northern Monongahela National Forest. The WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Project, an ongoing program of West Virginia Rivers Coalition and 
Trout Unlimited (TU) implemented in West Virginia by TU, trains volunteers to regularly collect water quality data on streams that have the potential to be impacted by natural gas development.  By using the same techniques as the ongoing monitoring program, Snapshot Day volunteers were able to efficiently monitor multiple locations within one afternoon – providing a snapshot of the northern Monongahela National Forest’s overall water quality.

“The Monongahela National Forest boasts some of West Virginia’s best trout streams and highest quality waters,” said Jake Lemon, Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “Working with volunteers to collect baseline water quality data in these forested watersheds prior to shale gas development is helping us to understand the current health of streams and allow us to monitor changes over time.”

West Virginia Rivers Coalition’s Outreach Manager, Kathleen Tyner, said “We are so thankful for the hardworking volunteers that came out and spent their Saturday collecting water quality samples. With the help of 30 volunteers we collected data on 54 different streams giving us a good picture of the current conditions in the Northern Monongahela National Forest.”

The WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Project is funded by the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation and the WV Department of Environmental Protection. To date the monitoring program has trained over 70 volunteers in West Virginia and Virginia who collect data at 101 monitoring sites on 89 different streams. Trout Unlimited and West Virginia Rivers Coalition regularly hold programmatic trainings for volunteers throughout the state. To learn more about the monitoring program and upcoming training opportunities, contact the West Virginia Rivers Coalition at 304-637-7201/ktyner@wvrivers.org or Trout Unlimited at 814-779-3965/jlemon@tu.org.

West Virginia Rivers Coalition works to conserve and restore the state’s rivers and streams and provide a voice for those who value water-based recreation and clean, drinkable, fishable, and swimmable waters. For more information, please visit www.wvrivers.org.

Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 150,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and online at tu.org.
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