Seven Stories from our Volunteer Water Guardians

Rebecca Shoer, Save Our Streams Coordinator
Volunteer water guardians

Here at the Izaak Walton League, we’re passionate about water quality: protecting it, preserving it, and restoring it so we and future generations can enjoy clean water. And as a member-driven, bottom-up organization, our volunteers have always led the way in taking action for clean water in local communities across America.

Save Our Streams, Winter Salt Watch, Stream Selfie... all of our clean water work is powered by volunteers. Supported by the League's programs and resources, people from all walks of life – hikers, hunters, teachers, doctors, scouts, and more – become scientists, educators, and advocates.

On World Water Monitoring Day and all through the month of September, we celebrated our volunteer water guardians by collecting and sharing some of their favorite monitoring memories. Here's what they had to say:


I think it helps building environmental awareness and gives people the power to study science and water quality. I think it helps strengthen my community's concern about our water.
– Francis “Chekka” Lash

I enjoy the outdoors and want to continue to enjoy the environment around me and with that comes the health of the environment. I enjoy eating local foods including foraging and hunting. To know where my food supply and water sources come from and that they are healthy and consumable allows me to have peace of mind.
– Tina Elwood-Gehrke

SOS benefits me by providing a way to connect with nature in a positive and productive way, empowers my daughter to conduct citizen science and know that the data is being used in a constructive way, and has helped my parents become better stewards of their land.
– Amy Ulland

The Lois Green-Sligo IWLA Chapter is active in environmental education. The Chapter has worked with the Montgomery County Transportation in putting up “CABIN BRANCH WATERSHED” road signs at all bridge crossings over the Cabin Branch. This is an initiative to help develop a "sense of place" for local residents to care about THEIR watershed!
– Bill Roberts

I used to play in streams as a kid, noting what creatures I found. I had no idea that one day I would be certified to play in streams and note what creatures I found for science!
– Tom Ligon

Everyone benefits when we honor our environment. Save our Streams gives us the knowledge and tools to collect the information which we can use to raise public awareness and action.
– Judy Rosedale

It is a guide to how well we are doing on the land. Everything comes down to water. If we do poorly in our cities or farms, we'll see dirtier water. If we do well, we'll see clean water. Simple as that.
– John Feldenzer

At the Izaak Walton League, we stand up for clean water all year round... and we're always ready to welcome new members of our volunteer community.

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