“We believe that all persons should know about their waterways since the condition of our streams and rivers is an indicator of the health of our water and indeed of our communities: this project provides citizens with training to scientifically explore and provide a snapshot of their own stream quality. We encourage any citizen interested in learning about their local waterway to join the Four Rivers Watershed Watch,” said Joe Baust, Murray State University, who is chairman for the project and director of the Murray State University Center for Environmental Education.
This dynamic and worthwhile program is beginning its tenth year of promoting and educating good water quality management to communities in the Four Rivers Region, in the following counties: Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Christian, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Logan, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, Trigg and Todd.
The data collected in this study will be used to help develop plans to enhance the streams for fishing, swimming, wildlife habitat and drinking water supply.
“The idea is to get people out into the real world to see first-hand the condition of their streams and lakes,” said Mike Kemp. Murray State University, who is Science Advisor to the project. “Delivering science to the people and people to the water’s edge is what this project does best.”
Volunteers for the project will be asked to attend two free training workshops. Participants will be trained in conducting biological and chemical tests on water quality and will help in collecting samples for laboratory analysis.
“As a trainer, the most fun part of the training is showing folks the organisms living in their streams,” said Bobby Lee of the West Kentucky Community and Technical College Biology Department. “Volunteers determine their level of participation in Watershed Watch– the labs and coordinators do much of the work, but it is the volunteers that are necessary to sample a wide range of streams in our area. Without them, we have no program.”
Training includes two sessions: Training I and Training II. The following sessions are scheduled for those individuals interested in participating in water sampling:
•Training Session I: Thursday, April 16, 6 to 8 p.m. at Hancock Biological Station, team and site selection and water chemistry training.
•Training Session II: Saturday, April 18, 9 a.m. to noon at Hancock Biological Station, habitat and bioassessment training.
Hancock Biological Station is in northeast Calloway County near Kenlake State Park. For directions visit http://www.murraystate.edu/qaed/cos/hbs/hbs.htm
Volunteers will begin their visual survey and a herbicide and E.coli sampling event in May, a fecal colirom and E.coli sampling event in July, and a nutrients and E.coli sampling event in September. The results will be turned back over to the volunteers and discussed at the Four Rivers Watershed Watch Annual Meeting and Workshop in November. Federal, state and local agencies as well as the public will be invited to attend the conference to discuss the project’s findings with volunteers.
Those interested in the project can call 1-800-928-0045, ext. 473 to sign up or register at http://kywater.org/water/fourrivers or email email@example.com with questions.
There is no charge for participating.