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Citizen Scientists to Monitor Treasure Valley Water Quality

Matt Ball on September 24, 2015 - in Corporate, Maintenance, Water

BOISE, Idaho — On Saturday morning, October 10, citizen scientists will gather at 14 sites throughout southern Idaho’s Treasure Valley to monitor water quality in the Boise River watershed.

Watershed Watch is an annual community outreach effort of theBoise WaterShed Environmental Education Center. The U.S. Geological Survey is an event co-sponsor along with the Bureau of Reclamation, Partners for Clean Water, United Water Idaho, the cities of Meridian and Caldwell, and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.

The citizen scientists will be matched with on-site trainers, including USGS scientists at Discovery Park near Lucky Peak Dam and at the Glenwood Street Bridge. The teams will collect and test water samples for dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, and other water-quality parameters including a macroinvertebrate survey. They will also identify the presence of native and invasive aquatic species.

“Our goal with Watershed Watch is to raise community awareness about the health of the Boise River and how we can keep it clean for future generations,” said Cindy Busche, Education Coordinator with the Boise WaterShed. “We encourage families to participate; kids ages four and older are welcome.”

“We’re pleased to be a partner in Watershed Watch,” said Kyle Blasch, Director of the USGS Idaho Water Science Center in Boise. “It gives our scientists a chance to connect with citizens, and it gives citizens a chance to learn about how USGS science helps our partners like the City of Boise.”

The data gathered by the citizen scientists will be posted on the Watershed Watch website and may be used by regulatory agencies in their water-quality analyses.

To volunteer for Watershed Watch, visit www.BoiseWatershedWatch.org and register by October 1.

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