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Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay: RiverTrends Water Quality Monitoring service project

The Fairfax chapter has approved a new citizen science service project (C257) to perform water chemistry testing in Chesapeake Bay watershed streams and rivers.

The Alliance’s citizen water quality monitoring program is a regional network of trained volunteers who perform monthly water quality tests that help track the condition of waterways flowing toward the Chesapeake Bay.

Each month,  volunteers complete an observational survey at their stream site and conduct tests for dissolved oxygen, pH, water clarity, salinity (where appropriate), temperature, and bacteria. Data is reported to the Alliance, which partners with other water quality monitoring groups in the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative.

Volunteers attend a training session where they learn about water quality and how to collect data following standardized protocols. Volunteers spend 1-2 hours monthly collecting data at their stream sites and completing the required tests within 8-48 hours, depending on the test. Volunteers complete a written report and submit data online or mail in the report. Volunteers may choose when they monitor, but they should try to monitor at the same time each month, although there is some flexibility for weather, etc. The Alliance would like each volunteer to monitor at least 10 times per year.

Data is annually submitted the to Virginia DEQ for use in the Virginia’s 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Water Quality Assessment Report to EPA, which summarizes water quality conditions and identified waters that do not meet water quality standards.

All volunteers are trained by Certified Watershed Coordinators under the Alliance’s Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP). Training includes an initial session where monitors learn about water quality and testing methods and an annual recertification session to check monitoring equipment, chemicals, and methods.

To learn more about the program, contact the program coordinator Amy Hagerdon at ahagerdon@allianceforthebay.org.

August stream monitoring activities: Attend and help

Join volunteers throughout Fairfax County who monitor water quality in local streams. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District trains volunteers to assess ecological conditions in streams based on the presence and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects). Volunteers also learn how to take chemical measurements about nitrate/nitrite and turbidity. Training includes indoor and field workshops and mentoring by experienced monitors.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Stream Monitoring Workshop: Reston
Time:  1:00 – 4:00pm
Join Will Peterson of the Reston Association as he guides you through the monitoring protocol on one of the many beautiful streams that flows through Reston Association’s natural areas. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Will.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Stream Monitoring Workshop: Cub Run, Centerville
Time:  9-11:30am
Come out to Cub Run in Centerville, VA to learn more about benthic macroinvertebrates and how they can be used to determine the water quality of a stream. RSVP to Dan Schwartz or register through Fairfax County’s Volunteer Management System.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Stream Monitoring Workshop: Wolftrap Creek, Vienna
Time: 1 – 4pm
Join Certified Volunteer Monitor Ho Yeon Jeong and the Conservation District at Ho Yeon’s adopted site along Wolftrap Creek in the Town of Vienna. Help monitor the health of this restored urban stream, a few miles upstream of its namesake performing arts center. Please RSVP to Dan Schwartz for directions and instructions.

Earn your stream monitoring certification at workshop August 18th

NVSWCD stream monitoring.

Want to take your volunteering to the next level? Become a Certified Stream Monitor and adopt your own site to monitor quarterly! Candidates for certification must have attended at least 3-4 monitoring workshops/sessions or have other prior experience. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation workshop will consist of a morning review of invertebrates and watersheds, followed by time for the written portion of the test. In the afternoon, certification candidates will be observed as they perform a stream monitoring at Young’s Branch. Those not seeking certification are welcome to attend as well. Other activities and a lunch break will be offered while the certification test is underway. To RSVP and for more information, please contact Dan Schwartz at dan.schwartz@fairfaxcounty.gov or Veronica Tangiri at waterquality@pwswcd.org.

Manassas Battlefield National Park, Park Headquarters

Saturday, 18 August 2018

9 am – 3 pm

Stream monitoring events in July: Plan now to attend

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Prince William County Stream Monitoring Session: Woodbridge
Time:   11 am – 1:30pm
Location: Off of Springwoods Dr, Woodbridge

Join certified volunteer monitor Janis Cook at her adopted site along Airport Creek in the Lakeridge neighborhood. For directions and to RSVP, please contact Janis at Jcook3910@aol.com.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Pohick Creek Monitoring Workshop: Springfield/LortonPohick
Time: 9 – 11:30 am
Location: Pohick Creek Stream Valley Park, Springfield
Help monitor big and beautiful Pohick Creek as it winds through its rocky valley just north of I-95 and Lorton. Please RSVP to Dan Schwartz at dan.schwartz@fairfaxcounty.gov or sign up through Fairfax County’s online Volunteer Management System (initial registration required).

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Prince William County Stream Monitoring Session: Haymarket
Time: 10 am – Noon
Location: James Long Park, 4603 James Madison Hwy, Haymarket. Park at the Old Library parking lot.
Join longtime certfied volunteer monitor Elaine Wilson at her beautiful adopted site on Catharpin Creek in the Gainesville area. This site has some outstanding and unique critters. Spots are limited. For information and to RSVP, contact Elaine at elaine.wilson@dcwater.com.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Reston Association Stream Monitoring Workshop: Reston
Time:  8 am
Location: Reston Association Property, exact stream to be determined
Join Will Peterson of the Reston Association and help monitor the health of one of the many beautiful streams on Reston Association common land. Please contact Will at wpeterson@reston.org for RSVP instructions and directions to the site.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Difficult Run Stream Monitoring Workshop: Great Falls
Time: 9:30 am
Location: Difficult Run Stream Valley Park near Leigh Mill Rd
Help monitor beautiful Difficult Run as it flows through leafy parkland just upstream of Great Falls National Park. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Dan Schwartz at dan.schwartz@fairfaxcounty.gov or use Fairfax County’s online Volunteer Management System (initial registration required).

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Stream Monitoring Session: South RunSouth
Time: 1:30 – 4 pm
Location: Parkland behind South Run Rec Center, 7550 Reservation Dr, Springfield
Join certified volunteer monitor Veronica Tangiri as she monitors her adopted site along beautiful and healthy South Run as it flows under a leafy canopy of trees between Burke Lake and Lake Mercer. Please RSVP to Veronica at vera.tangiri@gmail.com for directions.

Earn Stream Monitoring Service Hours at Holmes Run

Earn FMN service hours by volunteering as a stream monitor at Holmes Run in Annandale. Participants will collect live samples of benthic macroinvertebrates, then sort, count and report on their findings to determine the stream’s current health. No previous experience is required.

If you are interested, please contact Valeria Bertha at valerie.bertha@gmail.com for more details. For master naturalists: This ongoing project is listed in the service project catalog as: C020 – NVSWCD Biological Stream Monitoring.

Holmes Run, Annandale
Sunday, August 5
9.00AM-12.00PM

Stream monitoring at Lake Accotink Park

GET YOUR BRAIN WET! Attention adults and children who enjoy helping our parks and environment!  Join Audubon Naturalist Society, Friends of Lake Accotink Park and Friends of Accotink Creek (FOAC) as they catch stream critters (macro invertebrates) to document the health of the stream. This family-friendly event is a great opportunity to learn about what lives in the creek by finding, identifying and counting these creatures.

For more information and to register, please visit the FOAC CALENDAR and click on “Biological Stream Monitoring.”

Accotink Lake Park
7500 Accotink Park Rd, Springfield, VA 22150
Meet in the parking lot behind Lake Accotink Park Administrative building
Saturday, June 9, 2018
9:30 – 11:30 am

Join the Clean Water Challenge

The Izaak Walton Leage of America, the national organization that oversees the Fairfax County Stream Monitoring Program, hopes to monitor 100,000 additional stream sites nationwide by 2022. This effort–The Clean Water Challenge–will not succeed without massive volunteer support. If you are a new stream monitoring volunteer, consider taking the certification test and adopting your own stream site. If you are already certified, think about adding a new stream site to your existing one. Information about the Clean Water Challenge is available on the Izaak Walton League’s website. To learn more about becomming a certified monitor, contact Dan Schwartz.

Service opportunity: Help monitor beautiful Holmes Run Creek, in Annandale, 22 April

Valerie Bertha, a certified stream monitor, is looking for naturalists to help her observe the health of Holmes Run Creek, in Annandale.

Date and time: 22 April, Sunday, 9 am-noon. The group will meet at the end of Hockett Street, off of Annandale Road. If you have trouble finding the site, please call Valerie at 703-473-2789.

Please also RSVP to valerie.bertha@gmail.com by 15 April so that she knows how much equipment to borrow. Wear rain boots because you will be in the creek.

This service project receives credit for C020: NVSWCD Biological Stream Monitoring.

Working to reduce plastics in our environment

The Fairfax County Federation invites the public to interact with three speakers:

Kris Unger, primary conservator of the Friends of Accotink Creek will talk about what happens to plastic as it traverses the environment.

Erica Carter, recycling coordinator for the Fairfax Solid Waste Management Program, will discuss recycling and the market for recycled plastic.

Don Cammerata, business manager for Virginia Facilities for Covanta, and Frank Capoblanco and Joe Walsh, will discuss how plastics are dealt with at the Lorton Waste to Energy Facility.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

7.30 pm

Main Community Room, Mason Government Center

6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

RSVP Flint Webb

Stream Monitoring Events: Serve and Learn

Saturday, December 9

Stream Monitoring: Lake Accotink

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Assess ecological conditions in Lake Accotink, based on the presence and abundance of bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

Where to Meet: Parking lot behind Lake Accotink Park Administrative building. Call or email for directions.

See Friends of Accotink Creek for additional stream monitoring information:

http://www.accotink.org/StreamMonitoring.htm

RSVP/Questions