Volunteering to monitor streams is a way for residents to contribute to clean water and healthier streams through citizen science.
The purposes of this program are to:
- Connect citizen scientists and residents with their watersheds and local government;
- Allow residents and students to contribute to caring for our waterways in a responsible and beneficial manner;
- Encourage residents to report out-of-the-ordinary situations that may help to reduce pollution, erosion and illicit discharges;
- Train volunteers to collect data, that when combined with the Town’s formal stream monitoring activities (USGS gages, macroinvertebrate counts/biological assessments, watershed studies), will contribute to a more holistic evaluation of the state of our streams;
- Fulfill elements of the volunteer monitoring recommendations in Chapel Hill’s Stormwater Management Master Plan and Bolin Creek Watershed Plan.
Three Levels for Volunteer Commitment & Training:
1) Stream Walkers: Complete Habitat Assessment each summer and visual assessments at least four times per year; once during each season. Record temperature and conductivity. Pick up trash as needed.
2) Stream Team Monitors: (above duties + testing for Nitrate, Phosphorus, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Turbidity)
3) Watershed Stream Team Leader: Either #1 or #2 above, plus labeling and checking storm drains emptying into stream/creek, conducting neighborhood walks for pollution sources, and suggesting water quality improvement projects and practices for the neighborhood to consider.
The Chapel Hill Stream Team Monitoring Program is based largely on Wisconsin's Water Action Volunteers Citizen Stream Monitoring Program.
Forms for Volunteers
Resources for Volunteers
- Field Guide to Algae and Pond Scum
- Macroinvertebrates - Wonderful, Wacky, Water Critters - WWWC.pdf (635 KB)
- Haw River Algae Q&A
- Stormwater Glossary