Gaithersburg, MD – The Izaak Walton League of America and volunteers across the nation are celebrating Citizen Science Month in April. This annual event recognizes the important citizen science work done by volunteers for conservation and the environment. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak this spring, the Izaak Walton League is highlighting meaningful citizen science activities that are safe, responsible, and beneficial to communities across the country.
Clean water is critical for healthy communities. The small streams that connect our communities provide numerous benefits, including:
- Drinking water: More than one-third of Americans get their drinking water from sources fed by small streams and rivers. Filtering technology is not capable of removing all pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals and road salt, from source waters. The cleaner our streams are, the cleaner our drinking water is as well.
- Outdoor recreation: Clean water and outdoor recreation go hand in hand. Whether it’s fishing, hunting, boating, or wildlife watching, clean water means better outdoor recreation.
The Izaak Walton League has been a leader in citizen science for 50 years, beginning with the creation of our Save Our Streams program in 1969. This year, the League is encouraging individuals to be citizen scientists by participating in:
- Stream Selfie: Snap a photo of your local stream or river, answer a few questions, and submit the selfie to scistarter.org/stream-selfie. League staff will compile submissions and use responses to direct volunteers to monitoring sites, encourage volunteers to pick up trash in heavy-trash areas, and promote the reasons communities care about their local streams.
- Salt Watch: Is road salt applied in your community during the winter months? That road salt, when applied in excess, can impact wildlife (and drinking water supplies) all year long. Volunteers can request a free Salt Watch test kit at www.iwla.org/saltwatch.
- Chemical Monitoring: Save Our Streams provides guidance for easy chemical monitoring, with no training required. Monitor for common water quality tests, such as Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrates, Temperature, and Phosphates. Read instructions and order test kits at www.iwla.org/chemical.
Want to find out where volunteers are monitoring water quality near you – and what they’re finding? Visit www.cleanwaterhub.org.
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America protects America’s outdoors through education, community-based conservation, promoting outdoor recreation.