Saturday, March 21, 2020

Master Watershed Stewards Participate In Delaware Watershed Stream Monitoring

By Jacquline Wolf Tice & Simon Molloy, Penn State Master Watershed Stewards

As a Master Watershed Steward, one of the opportunities available to implement knowledge and skills acquired in this program involves the area of water monitoring. 
Stroud Water Research Center oversees EnviroDIY Sensor Stations throughout the Delaware River Watershed (and beyond) which are portals for citizen science efforts to monitor and document stream quality. 
Stroud offered training to Master Watershed Stewards to take part in their efforts to map the health of streams within surrounding watersheds.
In their role as Master Watershed Stewards, volunteers Jacqline Wolf Tice and Simon Malloy make field visits to sites equipped with sensor stations and data loggers to perform monthly maintenance and quality control protocols at the sites. 
This involves cleaning submerged sensors, clearing leaf debris, managing sand/soil activity around sensors, as well as recording data measurements in the streams. 
Jacqline's assigned station, Hosensack Creek, is at the southwestern border of Lehigh County. The stream typically measures .27m in depth on the staff gauge. The actual sensors are attached to a post which is anchored in the streambed. 
The Little Lehigh Creek site, located between Emmaus and Allentown, is monitored by Simon and has required some specialized management due to sand buildup around the sensors. 
By looking underwater at the sensors shows the potential for obstruction of data collection on turbidity, conductivity and temperature. 
During quarterly Quality Control visits, we conduct manual measurement procedures to compare to data uploaded at by the sensors through the Mayfly Loggers/circuit boards invented specifically for this project.
We find this a valuable and well-organized project to be involved with and hope the data collected can serve Important policy development to secure the safety of our Watershed for decades.
[The Master Watershed Steward Program is active in a growing number of counties, including-- Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Wyoming and York counties.
[Contact them to find out more through your local Penn State Extension Office or learn more by visiting the Master Watershed Steward webpage.  Questions can be directed to Erin Frederick at 610-391-9840 or send email to: ]

(Reprinted from the latest Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletterClick Here to sign up for Extension newsletters.

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[Posted: March 21, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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