Want to be a clean water advocate, but not sure where to start? The SOS staff is here to help! In our first Clean Water Webinar, staff share a range of clean water activities that you and your family can take part in to protect clean water while social distancing.
In January of 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency enacted a new regulation that will have significant and detrimental repercussions for water quality. A new definition of waterways that are protected under the Clean Water Act altered and removed protections from important freshwater sources including isolated wetlands and ephemeral streams. In this webinar, National Conservation Director Jared Mott walks us through the scientific and legislative background of this new rule and why it doesn’t make sense for protecting water.
Each winter, billions of pounds of salt are spread on America's roads to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. But all this salt poses a major health risk to both humans and wildlife. Join Dr. John Jackson of the Stroud Water Research Center and Kevin Roth of Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust to learn about how excessive salt affects benthic macroinvertebrates and other aquatic life in freshwater streams, and how one local community group is raising awareness and changing behavior around salt in the community!
Agriculture can get a bad rap when it comes to discussions about water quality and water pollution. It’s important to remember, however, that this same industry also holds the keys to significantly reduce common water quality issues in hot spots such as the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, and Chesapeake Bay. Healthy soil, plants, wildlife, water quality, and public health are all closely intertwined. By working with Mother Nature, rather than against her, farmers can support diverse ecosystems, clean water, and a growing population all while improving their bottom line economically.
Green spaces around our homes, neighborhoods, and cities provide beautiful spaces to recreate and homes for wildlife. But they can also have a huge influence on water quality, from fertilizer runoff to riparian buffers. What can individual residents, communities, and cities do to ensure their green spaces are helping keep our streams and creeks healthy? Join us for tips from Doug Ollendike, Community Development Director for the City of Clive, and Tracy Rouleau, President of the Muddy Branch Alliance.
Did you know that the bugs living in a stream can tell you how healthy your water is? Aquatic benthic macroinvertebrates are small organisms without a backbone that live on the bottoms of streams. By collecting and identifying these "macros" using the Save Our Streams protocol, volunteer monitors can determine the health of their streams. Join Zach Moss, SOS Coordinator for the Midwest, for an introduction of these amazing critters. You'll learn about the life history of these bugs, how to identify them in the field, and what resources you can use to practice collecting and identifying on your own!
Save Our Streams volunteer monitors collect powerful data about water quality across the country. In Virginia, the Roanoke Stormwater Division and Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District both utilize the Save Our Streams protocol and data to make decisions about stormwater management and conservation initiatives. Join Danielle DeHart, Environmental Specialist with the City of Roanoke, and Stacey Heflin, Conservation Specialist for the Henricopolis SWCD, to hear about their experiences with Virginia SOS and how their departments are leveraging citizen science data to protect clean water.
The health of our streams, lakes, and wetlands depends heavily on the health of the soils upstream. But just what does “soil health” mean? Why is it so important? How did we lose it, and how do we get it back? This introduction to Soil Health is for anyone wondering why soil health is now the hottest thing since the yo-yo.
You've gathered your equipment, headed into the field, and collected your data. Now, you are ready to share your findings and educate your local community. But how can you ensure that your story is shared in a compelling and easy-to-understand way? Caroline Donovan, Program Manager for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science – Integration and Application Network, will present some of the lessons learned from almost twenty years of synthesizing scientific data into engaging information. Learn about effective PowerPoint presentations, data visualizations, and stakeholder workshops.
Where does water go once it flows down the drain, and how do we make sure it's clean when it comes back out of our faucets? Join us for an introduction to wastewater treatment and its critical role in providing clean water to citizens across the country. Emily Bialowas, Chesapeake Monitoring and Outreach Program Coordinator, and Melissa Atwood, Outreach Manager of Fairfax County Wastewater Management, will walk you through the history of wastewater management, lessons learned, current challenges, and goals for the future.
What is citizen science, and how can it improve our understanding of the world around us? Join Caroline Nickerson, Program Manager of SciStarter, and the Save Our Streams team for a discussion on the value of citizen science. You'll learn about how different projects utilize citizen science, the accuracy of citizen-collected data, and how citizen science benefits our global community!
The Save Our Streams program trains and coordinates volunteer water quality monitors all over the country. Monitoring can be done alone or with a small team, but there is power in numbers! Locally-led, community-based volunteer monitoring groups can effectively engage more neighbors, friends, co-workers, and community partners to monitor more sites on a consistent basis, but it can sometimes be challenging or intimidating to get these movements started and keep them sustained. Join us to hear stories and experiences from some leaders who have effectively recruited, mobilized, and coordinated volunteer monitors within their watersheds.
Learn about different green infrastructure – like rain gardens, bioswales, and Green Streets – that have been implemented in the City of Portland (OR). Find out from Christa Shier and Svetlana Hedin, from the City's Bureau of Environmental Services, what can be done in your city to reduce the impact of stormwater and what you can do on your own property to protect clean water.
The Anacostia Watershed Society's Trash Trap program collects, sorts, and measures trash flowing down the Anacostia River. That gives this nonprofit the info they need to effectively advocate for protection and restoration of this incredible river. Join Water Quality Specialist Masaya Maeda, Community Engagement Coordinator Stacy Lucas, and Community-Based Restoration Manager Reyna Askew for a discussion about linking data to community engagement and watershed advocacy.
When discussing water quality, the first image that pops into many people’s minds is the drinking water that comes out of the taps in their home. Clean and safe drinking water is something that most people in the developed world take for granted, but there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the safety and accessibility of your tap water. Join us as Kyle Danley, Chief Operating Officer of Des Moines Water Works, and Katherine Baer, Director of Science and Policy with River Network, discuss the behind-the-scenes work of getting water from the stream to your tap. They’ll discuss challenges and solutions related to polluted source water, how water is treated to meet Safe Drinking Water Act standards, policy and advocacy in the world of drinking water, and more!
The faith community is a critical partner in the fight to restore clean water. Mobilizing this sector requires understanding what motivates them. Come hear about successful collaborations with – and within – the faith community and the underlying lessons about those successes.
We're kicking off this year's Winter Salt Watch! We will provide background information and updates on the Salt Watch program and then hand it off to our experts. Dr. Gary Johnson will teach us about how road salt impacts our trees, and Phill Sexton will tell us about smarter methods to reduce salt use in the winter months.
Thirty percent of our planet's fresh water is stored below the Earth's surface as groundwater, and approximately 145 million Americans get their tap water from these groundwater sources. However, groundwater quality is sometimes overlooked because the water isn't visible to us all the time like our rivers and lakes are. The Earth can often naturally filter and clean water as it infiltrates through soil and rock, but there are some contaminants that still make it through, and not every groundwater source is created equal when it comes to water quality.
You've learned about the impact road salt and chloride have on our trees and our waterways – now learn about where chloride is a problem in streams, lakes and groundwater. Join us to hear about the progress of our Salt Watch season so far, and tune in to learn more about the extent of chloride in surface and groundwater across the country. Emily Bialowas, our Salt Watch coordinator, will give an update on how you have contributed to Salt Watch this winter and what more you can do, and Dr. Joel Moore from Towson University will tell us about how chloride moves through our waterways, where it persists, and current research into the impact of road salt.
Nitrate is a chemical compound made of nitrogen, and it is a naturally occurring vital component of our ecosystems. However, humans have been contributing unhealthy levels of nitrogen to our landscape, which inevitably pollutes our waters with more nitrate than nature is designed to deal with. Nitrate pollution can be found in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater, and high nitrate concentrations can be detrimental to both the environment and human health. Join us to hear from two guest experts on why nitrate levels are so high and what we can do about it.
After finding troubling water quality data or learning about a water quality problem that you care about, what do you do next to effect positive change? We'll hear from two seasoned advocates as they share their experiences and provide guidance on how to take action and get involved in causes you care about.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are non-native organisms whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human, animal or plant health. These aquatic invaders can come in the form of fish, invertebrates, or plants, and they can have devastating impacts on ecosystems, communities, and water quality. Experts Kim Bogenschutz, AIS Program Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Allison Zach, Invasive Species Program Specialist with Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research, share their wealth of knowledge about specific invasive species, their effects on the ecosystem, their impacts on water quality, and what can be done to help prevent or slow their spread.
Microcystin, E. coli, manure, sewage... too frequently, these pollutants can be found in our streams, rivers and lakes. Though we can't see bacteria with our naked eyes, we also can't ignore the negative results of bacteria pollution. Impacting drinking water, recreation, aesthetics, wildlife, and ecosystem integrity, bacteria pollution is a significant cause for concern, especially in warmer months. Lisa Wu with Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Alicia Vasto with Iowa Environmental Council join us for a discussion about bacteria monitoring, urban and rural sources, impacts and solutions.
Join us to kick off this year's Winter Salt Watch at our November Clean Water Webinar! We will provide background information and updates on the Salt Watch program and then hand it off to our experts. Allison Madison will discuss initiatives at the esteemed Wisconsin Salt Wise organization, and Sally Petrella will share how she and others at Friends of the Rouge in Michigan are engaging their community in Salt Watch.
Join the Izaak Walton League and WSSC Water to learn how road salt impacts our environment, our health and our infrastructure. The League provides an overview of the Winter Salt Watch program, how you can get involved in this national community science initiative, and how one city is working to combat road salt pollution. Environmental Outreach Coordinator Nicole Horvath discusses how WSSC Water, one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, approaches the issue of road salt pollution in drinking water. Learn how WSSC provides clean water to nearly 2 million people and how you can make a difference in your community!