Volunteers Needed to Collect MN Water Data
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), is looking for volunteers to collect data to help protect the State’s waters. Through the Citizen Monitoring Program, volunteers conduct water clarity tests at their favorite body of water twice per month during the summer. Those who volunteer to monitor lakes can either boat or paddle to a designated spot to check the clarity, while stream monitors may walk, bike or drive to the water or gain access at a bridge.
The MPCA uses the data to help determine whether lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreation like fishing and swimming. If so, these waters are candidates for protective strategies. If not, then studies may follow to determine the pollutants, sources of those pollutants, and ways to reduce them.
More than 1,300 citizen monitors gather data for the MPCA, but more are needed to reach the 69,000 miles of rivers and more than 12,000 lakes in the State. The MPCA provides equipment and training, and no experience is needed or required. For some waters, citizen monitors are responsible for collecting the only data available.