River Watch provides an invaluable experiential scientific and environmental experience. It gets youth directly involved in collecting valuable data on the health of streams in the county while learning first-hand about water quality.
Who can be involved?
River Watch can accommodate groups of youth through a school classroom, afterschool or out-of-school-time youth group, church or library group. The program is suitable for middle school and high school students.
What classes can River Watch be incorporated into?
Educators have used the hands-on experienced provided through River Watch in numerous creative ways to meet a variety of standards. River Watch provides education in science, math, ecology and human interaction with the environment, making it applicable to many classes. River Watch has been used in biology, chemistry, Advanced Placement, general science, writing and math classes.
Why biological monitoring?
Biological monitoring measures many factors that influence the organisms that live in a stream. Some macroinvertebrates spend years maturing in the stream. Thus, the size and diversity of their population reflect the cumulative impacts of all stream conditions that occur during their life cycles, such as water chemistry, habitat characteristics, pollution levels and changes in water flow or velocity.
Certain species are intolerant of pollution and won’t be present in streams with degraded water quality or habitat. Biological monitoring adds a significant component to the overall assessment of stream health, and many volunteers find it more engaging.
To learn more about participating in River Watch, see the River Watch educator guide (PDF).