Volunteers Sought for Macroinvertebrate Survey

The Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition and its volunteers help monitor water quality.

The 6th annual Macroinvertebrate Survey will take place beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Emergency Services Building, 25 Quassuk Rd.

Volunteers are needed to assess the water quality in local streams and rivers using benthic macroinvertebrates, according to a press release from the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition.

Benthic macroinvertebrates are small organisms that spend a large part of their life cycle clinging to the undersides of rocks in river riffles, the press release stated.

Some macroimnvertebrates are fussy about their environment and their presence is a strong indicator of clean water, the coalition stated. The presence of at least three of the most wanted, or fussiest, organisms is an indicator of excellent water quality.

The coalition contributes data to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s annual Rapid Bioassessment in Wadeable Streams and Rivers by Volunteer Monitors, or RBV, program.

The DEP is mandated by the Federal Clean Water Act to monitor water quality of the state’s rivers and streams. With close to nearly 5,500 miles of rivers and streams, the DEP cannot monitor every stream on its own.

The DEP’s Mike Beauchene developed the RBV as a one-day training and survey program for citizen groups.

The RBV program aids the state in identifying high or low quality water and augments less frequent, but more thorough studies by DEP scientists.

Those interested in volunteering may call the PRWC at 203-263-0076.


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