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For Release: Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Volunteers Sought for Stream and River Monitoring

Wadeable Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) Project is Launching its 2013 Season

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is actively recruiting citizen scientists to collect biological samples from streams and rivers in the Genesee, Delaware, Hudson, and Mohawk River watersheds as part of the Wadeable Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project to assess water quality.

WAVE data are used to augment the work of the DEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit, which samples streams and rivers across the state to create an inventory of stream water quality. Citizen Monitors will provide valuable information to assist in identifying healthy stream sites and flagging sites that potentially have water quality concerns. These data are included in federal and state water quality reports and help to target professional assessments and local restoration efforts where they are most needed.

Trained citizen monitors will visit streams between July and September to collect and identify insects and other small organisms (macroinvertebrates) from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom, and preserve one example of each organism for identification by the WAVE Coordinator. If six or more of the "Most Wanted" organisms are found, the stream segment is assessed as having no known impacts and fully supporting aquatic life. If mostly "Least Wanted" organisms are found, then the stream segment will be flagged for possible investigation by professionals.

Training sessions are scheduled for July and August at locations in Livingston Manor, Sullivan County (July 15, August 7, August 21), Bainbridge, Chenango County (July 16, August 20), Port Jervis, Orange County (July 17, August 6), Angelica, Allegany County(July 29, August 13), Castile, Wyoming County (July 30, September 5), and Scottsville, Monroe County (August 12, September 4). For more information or to register for a training session, visit the DEC website.

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