Volunteer Scientists

These past couple of weeks, I have been spending a great deal of time in our local streams. Students from the area, elementary and high school both, have been interested in learning how to test streams for pollution and quality. We’ve used chemical test kits to measure dissolved oxygen, nitrates, and more. We’ve shuffled and danced upstream of the kick nets to capture and identify a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates. And after all our activity is through, we talk about the problems that each stream might face. Some streams are nearly wild, flowing between untrimmed and untamed banks. Some are urban, like Jordan creek, pouring through subterranean concrete caverns and spending most of its time working as our storm drain system. Others meander through parks, like Fassnight Creek, bringing joy and rest to those who visit its calming waters, and taking away the trash, lawn chemicals, and waste that we sometimes contribute.

Ozark streams are special. Their beauty, life, and abundance make them something to treasure. Although, sometimes they are easy to take for granted. The good news is that many of us in the region have been smitten by these fluvial masterpieces. Countless volunteers and professionals dedicate time and energy to collecting data on our stream quality, cleaning up litter, and educating the community about keeping our water clean. The best part is that anyone can help. We have events throughout the year that allow for anyone to get involved; from the casual volunteer to the hardened water warrior. If you are looking for some way that you can protect and improve your neighborhood stream, check out the resources listed below. And as always, take care of your water.

Rob Hunt, Watershed Center Coordinator

http://www.mostreamteam.org/

http://www.springfieldmo.gov/stormwater/pdfs/Adopt-A-Stream.pdf

http://www.jamesriverbasin.com/

https://watershedcommittee.org//get_involved/ 

 

 

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