Monday, November 4, 2013

Wade in the Water–a stream monitoring update

About a year and a half ago, our family decided to volunteer to become stream monitors – we wanted to find out whether our local streams were healthy.  If you’ve been following our adventures, you know that the news wasn’t always good.  But our latest stream is alive – not healthy – but alive!  On Sunday, we headed out to wade in the water (not nearly as gracefully as Alvin Ailey’s company in the best piece of American choreography EVER).  It was a crisp, sunny fall day – perfect for a little stream monitoring!   Since I’m still recovering from knee surgery, my husband wedged his size 12 feet into my waders and did the “stream dance”.  IMG_20131027_115556_939  After only two 1-minute sessions of dancing, we captured over the required 200 invertebrates!  A careful examination of our net turned up lots of interesting species.  IMG_20131027_120440_023  Unlike our summertime survey, we didn’t see many scuds (photo from .  This time our net was filled with over 100 clams; we also had several big invertebrates like hellgrammites (which we learned really do have pinching mouthparts!) and fly larvae. 
Each time we head out to monitor our stream, the kids become more skilled at gathering samples and identifying the various invertebrates.  They’ve also been noticing the differences in species during the different seasons, and have become more aware of pollution issues in their own backyard.  It’s been a great experience that the kids have applied in their science classrooms at school. 

Interested in adopting a stream with your family?  Check out the Izaak Walton League website.   You’ll find monitoring programs around the U.S.  If you happen to live in Virginia, the Virginia Save our Streams (SOS) program is worth a look – we’ve really enjoyed our experience with the program!

To keep up on our stream monitoring adventures and other green news, be sure to "Like" greenmomster on Facebook!

No comments:

Post a Comment