Monitoring Organizations

Part of the Knowing Our Waters Project

The organizations featured on this page conduct surface water monitoring in regions throughout the Marcellus Shale play, spanning the states of Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Some organizations choose to focus on a single watershed, whereas others work within a particular county. These organizations are listed by their “home” state. However, in many instances organizations monitor in watersheds across across a large geographic region – emphasizing the importance of thinking about surface water quality as an issue that transcends political boundaries.

Monitoring Based in Maryland

MD Friends Deep Creek

Friends of Deep Creek Lake

Web: friendsofdcl.org
Contact: contact@friendsofdcl.org

Watershed Regions: Deep Creek Lake Watershed

Mission:

Friends of Deep Creek Lake promotes stewardship, conservation and restoration of the lake and watershed. We are a watershed organization reflecting the fact Deep Creek Lake is a component of an evolving watershed-wide eco-system. Sustainability of the lake must be based on research, assessment, planning and program implementation using the broader watershed approach. We have recruited, trained and organized over 50 volunteers for water monitoring.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: Friends of Deep Creek Lake
  • Data management: 3RQ

MD Monitoring Coalition

Maryland Marcellus Monitoring Coalition

Web: www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/streamWaders.asp
Contact: streamwaders@dnr.state.md.us

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Garrett County

Mission:

Working with watershed associations, Trout Unlimited, colleges and other citizens in western Maryland, DNR organized the Marcellus Shale Stream Monitoring Coalition (MMC) in March 2012. The primary goal of the Coalition is to collect water quality and biological data from streams and rivers in Garrett County to help characterize baseline stream conditions. The Coalition is critical as it will supplement DNR’s stream monitoring efforts and enhance spatial coverage in the Marcellus Shale region. Currently there are 60 volunteers participating in this monitoring program where data are being collected from an additional 70 streams.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: data loggers, field samples
  • Frequency: continuous (loggers), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity, temperature, stream depth, visual assessments, macroinvertebrates
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration
  • Training: DNR
  • Data management: DNR, 3RQ

Monitoring Based in New York

CSI-Logo

Community Science Institute

Web: communityscience.org
Contact: info@communityscience.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout the Southern Tier of New York

Mission:

CSI is a state-certified water quality testing lab that partners with groups of volunteers to monitor water quality. The Red Flag Monitoring partnership began in 2010 with the goal of establishing baseline water quality for parameters related to shale gas wells. These measurements will help to determine whether or not impacts on streams and lakes occur. Red Flag monitoring places a focus on small streams and creeks for which little to no water quality data exists. Red Flag monitoring has the potential to document both catastrophic contamination events such as chemical spills, and gradual degradation that could result from small impacts accumulating over a period of months or years.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total hardness, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, stream depth, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent four times a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: CSI
  • Data management: CSI

NY Water Sentinels

The New York Water Sentinels

Web: nywatersentinels.org
Contact: nywatersentinels@gmail.com

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout the Southern Tier of New York

Mission:

The NY Water Sentinels is a citizen science stream water monitoring program affiliated with the Sierra Club. The focus of monitoring has been on local impacts from ongoing oil and gas extraction in NY by collecting baseline data on stream health to defend against the onset of fracking in NY. Since December of 2011, the NY Water Sentinels have organized and trained 6 regional chapters with the assistance of ALLARM. To date, 160 volunteers have made over 1,500 visits to document conditions at 125 stream sites. Streams being monitored span 12 counties and 6 major watersheds across the Southern Tier.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: Water Sentinels, ALLARM, Shale Network

Monitoring Based in Ohio

OH Captina

Captina Conservancy

Web: www.captina.org
Contact: contact@captina.org

Watershed Regions: Captina Creek Watershed

Mission:

Captina Conservancy is a non-profit land-trust working to conserve natural and agricultural lands in Belmont County, Ohio. The purpose of Captina Conservancy is to promote and engage in the conservation, restoration and sustainability of the Captina Creek Watershed through education, voluntary conservation agreements and acquisitions. Captina Conservancy works with Three Rivers Quest to conduct water monitoring in three locations, east (downstream) of the North and South forks’ convergence.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: data loggers
  • Frequency: continuous
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, temperature, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration
  • Training: 3RQ
  • Data management: 3RQ

Monitoring Based in Pennsylvania

PA ALLARM

The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), Dickinson College

Web: www.dickinson.edu/allarm
Contact: allarm@dickinson.edu

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Pennsylvania and New York

Mission:

The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) is a nationally recognized technical support center for communities interested in monitoring the quality of their waterways. ALLARM was founded in 1986 as a project of the Environmental Studies Department at Dickinson College. Through the work of professional and student staff, ALLARM offers comprehensive services to enable groups to use critical scientific tools to enhance environmental quality and fully participate in community decision-making. ALLARM has trained 37 community partners to conduct 10,000 mile watershed assessments in central PA. Ssince 2010 ALLARM has conducted 22 Marcellus Monitoring workshops throughout the state.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: weekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

PA Creek Connections

Creek Connections

Web: sites.allegheny.edu/creekconnections
Contact: wkedzier@allegheny.edu

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Pennsylvania and New York

Mission:

Creek Connections has forged an effective partnership between Allegheny College and regional K-12 schools to turn waterways in Northwest Pennsylvania, Southwest New York, and the Pittsburgh area into outdoor environmental laboratories. Emphasizing a hands-on, inquiry based investigation of local waterways, this project annually involves over 40 different secondary schools and the classes of 50 teachers. Throughout the school year, participating students retrieve water samples and conduct research on various waterways, monitoring the conditions that affect water quality.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: 1-6 times per year
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, alkalinity, sulfates, nitrates, iron, dissolved oxygen, depth, flow, temperature
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: Creek Connections
  • Data management: Creek Connections, Shale Network

PA Delaware River

Delaware Riverkeeper Network Water Watch

Web: www.delawareriverkeeper.org
Contact: faith@delawareriverkeeper.org

Watershed Regions: Delaware River Watersheds in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

Mission:

Since 1992, Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Water Watch mobilizes a committed network of citizens to make a difference for their local streams and communities. Water Watchers are “on-the-ground” trained investigators for the Delaware River and its tributary streams. Working together with communities, agencies, and universities, using sound science to gather information, and capitalizing on the dedication of our staff and trained volunteers, Water Watch gathers the information necessary that helps build a strong science foundation for effective pollution detection and control, advocacy, and actions that lead to clean streams, healthy communities, and thriving natural areas.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly, seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity, chloride, sedimentation, macroinvertebrates, E&S violations, visual assessment
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: DRN
  • Data management: DRN

PA Rose

E.L. Rose Conservancy

Web: penntest.com
Contact: board@elrose.org or allarm@dickinson.edu

Watershed Regions: Watersheds in Susquehanna County PA, and the Southern Tier of New York

Mission:

The Edward L. Rose Conservancy actively works to protect land by accepting donated conservation easements and land, with hundreds of acres in Susquehanna County permanently protected. The E.L. Rose Conservancy has performed historical water quality testing. Volunteers are actively monitoring water quality using the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Protocol (ALLARM).

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

PA Evergreen

Evergreen Conservancy

Web: www.evergreenconservancy.org
Contact: info@evergreenconservancy.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Indiana County, PA

Mission:

The Evergreen Conservancy is comprised of a group of volunteers who work to preserve local areas in order to raise the quality of life of citizens in and around Indiana County. EC conserves property through grants, land exchanges, conservation easements, donations and by other means. EC conducts baseline water quality data in stream throughout Indiana County to identify what is flowing through them, how they change over seasons and time, and any sources of pollution that may need to be addressed.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples, data loggers
  • Frequency: bi-weekly (field samples), continuous (loggers)
  • Indicators: conductivity, stream depth, temperature, pH, salinity
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: EC
  • Data management: EC, 3RQ, IUP

PA Water Generic

Fracking Truth Alliance

Web: frackingtruth.webs.com
Contact: frackingtruth@gmail.com or allarm@dickinson.edu

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Lawrence and Mercer County, PA

Mission:

Fracking Truth Alliance is a diverse bunch of people who live in Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania who are concerned about the effects that shale gas drilling, or fracking, will have on health and impacted communities. Volunteers are actively monitoring water quality using the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Protocol (ALLARM).

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

PA French

French Creek Valley Conservancy

Web: www.frenchcreekconservancy.org
Contact: (814) 337-4321 or allarm@dickinson.edu

Watershed Regions: French Creek Watershed

Mission:

To promote the environmental integrity of the French Creek watershed, and to advocate the protection of its natural resources for the aesthetic, ecological, recreational, and economic benefit through the coordination of land protection, education, and research. French Creek Valley Conservancy volunteers are actively monitoring water quality in both the main stem of French Creek and some of its tributaries using the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Protocol (ALLARM). This protocol empowers local citizens to actively monitor their watersheds for changes in water quality, especially in light of the arrival of shale gas.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

PA Water Generic

God’s Country Waterdogs

Web: www.dickinson.edu/allarm
Contact: lrfitzg@zitomedia.net

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Potter County, PA

Mission:

Inspired by the activities of Tioga County’s Pine Creek Waterdogs and Trout Unlimited’s Coldwater Conservation Corps, a group of Potter County citizens organized the God’s Country Waterdogs to monitor waterways and provide that information to agencies involved in protection. Volunteers hope to establish a baseline of water quality, which can be used for future reference in analyzing possible impacts to stream ecosystems. There are 22 Waterdogs working together with eight members of Trout Unlimited and several county watershed associations to monitor 70 sites on Potter County streams using the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Protocol (ALLARM).

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

PA Water Generic

Greene County Watershed Alliance

Web: www.greenewatersheds.org
Contact: greenewatersheds@gmail.com

Watershed Regions: South Fork Ten Mile Creek Watershed

Mission:

The GCWA is a non-profit watershed organization made up of volunteer watershed associations and community members that came together in an effort to protect and preserve our water resources so future generations will have clean drinking water, watershed based recreation, a sustainable economy, and the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty that make each of our watersheds special. The GCWA is working to safeguard our water resources from the potentially adverse effects of Marcellus Shale natural gas development by monitoring streams for baseline data in the High-Quality watersheds of the South Fork Ten Mile Creek.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, ph, rainfall, visual assessment
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: GCWA, ALLARM, 3RQ

PA Izaak

Izaak Walton League – Harry Enstrom Chapter

Web: www.iwlaharryenstrom.org
Contact: ddsc@windstream.net

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Greene and Washington County, PA

Mission:

The mission of the IWLA is to conserve, maintain, protect, and restore the soil, forest, water, and other natural resources of the United States and other lands; to promote means and opportunities for the education of the public with respect to such resources and their enjoyment and wholesome utilization. Our chapter’s Citizen’s Water Monitoring (CWM) program has been well recognized by many organizations including the DEP, EPA and the West Virginia Water Research Institute (WRI). The DEP water pollution division has been very helpful in determining the quality of water in our area. The training program we provide for water monitors has been accepted and recognized by WRI at West Virginia University.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: IWLA
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA Kiski

Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team, Conemaugh Valley Conservancy

Web: www.conemaughvalleyconservancy.org
Contact: mreckner@kcstreamteam.org

Watershed Regions: Kiski-Conemaugh River Basin

Mission:

The Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team is a program of the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy. Its goals are to educate and engage citizen stewards in maintaining, enhancing and restoring the natural resources of the Kiski-Conemaugh River Basin. The Stream Team was formed in 1998 to address the needs for more environmental education and citizen engagement in monitoring AMD in Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland Counties. Supported by strong partnerships with watershed organizations and citizen volunteers, the Stream Team successfully manages over 180 sampling sites, monitors 35 AMD treatment systems, and provides technical assistance to partner organizations.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: loggers
  • Frequency: continuous (loggers), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids, temperature, stream depth, stream flow, visual assessments, macroinvertebrates
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: N/A
  • Data management: CVC, 3RQ

PA Loyalhanna

Loyalhanna Watershed Association

Web: loyalhannawatershed.org
Contact: josh@loyalwater.com

Watershed Regions: Loyalhanna Creek Watershed

Mission:

Founded in 1971, the Loyalhanna Watershed Association (LWA) strives to protect, conserve and restore the natural resources of the Loyalhanna Creek Watershed via the coordinated efforts of members, staff, and environmental partners. Comprised of over 2,500 miles of waterways draining 300 square miles of land, the watershed flows north from its headwaters near Laurel Mountain to Saltsburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. LWA staff actively monitor streams and abandoned mine drainage discharges using data loggers and seasonal macroinvertebrate collections.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples, data loggers
  • Frequency: continuous (loggers), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids, temperature, stream depth, stream flow, visual assessments, macroinvertebrates
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: N/A
  • Data management: LWA, 3RQ

PA MWA

Mountain Watershed Association; Yough Riverkeeper

Web: www.mtwatershed.com
Contact: krissy@mtwatershed.com

Watershed Regions: Indian Creek and greater Youghiogheny River Watersheds

Mission:

Mountain Watershed Association is dedicated to protecting, preserving and restoring the Indian Creek and greater Youghiogheny River watersheds. We pursue on-the-ground restoration of past damage while also advocating on local issues (coal and shale gas extraction), as well as regional and national issues that have a local impact. We pursue increased stream protections and unsuitable for mining designations in sensitive areas. Through our Marcellus Citizen Stewardship Project (MCSP), advocate for tighter regulations on shale gas development. Water monitoring is conducted both by MWA staff, as well as with MCSP volunteers in collaboration with ALLARM.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples, data loggers
  • Frequency: monthly (field samples), continuous (loggers)
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids, temperature, stream depth, stream flow, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: MWA, ALLARM
  • Data management: MWA, ALLARM, 3RQ, Shale Network

PA Water Generic

Murrysville Stream Monitoring Group

Web: www.dickinson.edu/allarm
Contact: clean.water.murrysville@gmail.com or allarm@dickinson.edu

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Westmoreland County, PA

Mission:

The Murrysville Stream Monitoring Group was formed to monitor the quality of water in local creeks and streams. By establishing a scientifically sound baseline, the group hopes to be in a position to quickly detect changes in the water quality, caused by any number of detrimental activities. Volunteers are actively monitoring water quality using the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Protocol (ALLARM).

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

PA Aviary

The National Aviary

Web: www.aviary.org
Contact: steve.latta@aviary.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Westmoreland County, PA

Mission:

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. With support from the Three Rivers Quest, the Aviary’s Conservation and Field Research Department monitors changes in water quality in streams in Westmoreland County. We are helping to protect watersheds across the Appalachian region by focusing on the breeding and nesting habits of the Louisiana Waterthrush, an indicator species sensitive to water quality changes.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: data loggers
  • Frequency: continuous
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, temperature, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration
  • Training: 3RQ
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA Nature Abounds

Nature Abounds; Pennsylvania Senior Environment Corps

Web: www.natureabounds.org/SEC.html
Contact: info@natureabounds.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Pennsylvania

Mission:

The Senior Environment Corps (SEC) program engages volunteers mostly aged 55 and over. SEC volunteers are engaged in numerous activities from water quality monitoring, stream habitat assessment, storm-drain stenciling, environmental education, community gardening, wildlife surveying, marking abandoned oil and gas wells, and cleaning up parks and trails. Since 1997, SEC volunteers have contributed over 2,000,000 hours, and their contribution is estimated to be of value to the state at over $3 million per year. Now under the direction of Nature Abounds, SEC conducts baseline water quality monitoring across nearly counties.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly to yearly (field samples), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity, pH alkalinity, manganese, aluminum, sulfates, nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, macroinvertebrates
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: Nature Abounds, ALLARM
  • Data management: Nature Abounds, ALLARM

PA Trout

Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited Coldwater Conservation Corps

Web: www.patrout.org/programs
Contact: jlemon@tu.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Pennsylvania

Mission:

Protecting Pennsylvania’s valuable and high quality aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems begins by monitoring the headwaters to the state’s major rivers, the very areas that are being targeted for gas development. To protect these areas, Trout Unlimited has built a statewide network of volunteers, the Coldwater Conservation Corps (CCC), to monitor high quality streams and conduct visual reconnaissance in watersheds that are most vulnerable to the impacts of gas development. With over 350 members trained, CCC volunteers focus on protecting coldwater fisheries, and on achieving early detection of pollution events during oil and gas drilling activities.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples, data loggers
  • Frequency: bi-weekly to monthly (field samples), continuous (loggers), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: temperature, pH, conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments, macroinvertebrates.
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: Trout Unlimited, ALLARM
  • Data management: Trout Unlimited, ALLARM, Shale Network, 3RQ

PA Peters Creek

Peters Creek Watershed Association

Web: www.peterscreek.org
Contact: peterscreekwsa@verizon.net

Watershed Regions: Peters Creek Watershed

Mission:

The mission of the Peters Creek Watershed Association is to protect and conserve the natural resources of the Peters Creek Watershed, to remediate ecologically damaged elements of the watershed and to promote long-term stewardship and responsible resource use practices within the watershed.We conduct scientific assessments, inventories and research relevant to the natural resources of the watershed in order to develop and implement a watershed protection plan. This includes partnering with 3 Rivers Quest to monitor streams throughout the watershed on a regular basis.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: PCWA
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA Pgh Botanical

Pittsburgh Botanical Garden

Web: www.pittsburghbotanicgarden.org
Contact: info@pittsburghbotanicgarden.org

Watershed Regions: Chartiers Creek Watershed

Mission:

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is transforming 460 acres of abandoned coal mining land into the region’s first outdoor comprehensive botanic garden. Located 20 minutes west of the city, the Botanic Garden is conducting a complete reclamation project in the middle of the site and proceeding with the development of the first garden on the northern 60 acres. A water monitoring project at the woodlands pond is the basis for a treatment system currently under construction in addition to other water monitoring sites in partnership with 3RQ.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: PBG
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA Powdermill

Powdermill Nature Reserve, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Web: www.carnegiemnh.org/powdermill
Contact: slyderj@carnegiemnh.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Western Pennsylvania

Mission:

Powdermill was established in 1956 to serve as a field station of Carnegie Museum of Natural History for long-term studies of natural populations—their life histories, behaviors, and ecological relationships. The Reserve is used by scientists to monitor and study changes in the local ecology and wildlife populations. Powdermill has a permanent research staff conducting studies in avian ecology, bioacoustics, long-term molt and bird-banding studies, forest succession, stream ecology, turtle demography, and more.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: data loggers
  • Frequency: continuous
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, temperature, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration
  • Training: 3RQ
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA Water Generic

Shade Creek Watershed Association

Web: www.shadecreekwatershed.org
Contact: 814-754-5953

Watershed Regions: Shade Creek Watershed

Mission:

Shade Creek Watershed Association, referred to as SCWA (pronounced SQUAW) by it’s members, is an all volunteer non-profit organization founded in 1999 to protect and restore water and fish habitats. Our primary focus is water monitoring and treatment on Dark Shade Creek and its tributaries, but since then we have performed stream cleanups, roadside litter cleanups, and community outreach. The Shade Creek Watershed is located in Somerset County in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: data loggers
  • Frequency: continuous
  • Indicators: conductivity, temperature, stream depth, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration
  • Training: 3RQ
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA South Branch

South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition, Countryside Conservancy

Web: www.countrysideconservancy.org
Contact: jcrowther@epix.net

Watershed Regions: Tunkhannock Creek Watershed

Mission:

The South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition is a citizens’ group formed in 2003 under the auspices of Countryside Conservancy to foster shared responsibility for the environment of the South Branch portion of the Tunkhannock Creek Watershed. The Coalition is a grassroots organization committed to maintaining the health of the Tunkhannock Creek watershed through raising community awareness and water quality monitoring. Since 2004, Coalition volunteers have conducted monthly monitoring of water quality at several sites along the South Branch.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly (field samples), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, nitrates and orthophosphates, pH, alkalinity, visual assessment, macroinvertebrates
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: SBTCWC
  • Data management: SBTCWC

PA WCWA

Washington County Watershed Association

Web: www.pawccd.org
Contact: jdann@pawccd.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Washington County, PA

Mission:

The Watershed Alliance is an umbrella organization which serves as the fiscal agent for grants and coordinates the county-wide efforts of its member watershed associations. It is a non-profit organization, and is registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations. The Conservation District holds active membership in the Alliance. The Washington County Watershed Alliance data logger program has deployed 21 in stream continuous monitors in 10 out of 15 watersheds within the county.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: data loggers
  • Frequency: continuous
  • Indicators: conductivity, temperature, stream depth, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration
  • Training: 3RQ
  • Data management: 3RQ

WPC

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Web: waterlandlife.org
Contact: ATrexler@paconserve.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Western PA

Mission:

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protects and restores exceptional places to provide our region with clean waters and healthy forests, wildlife and natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations. More than 60 percent of areas identified as “important habitats” by the Natural Heritage Program’s County Natural Heritage Inventories lie within the Utica and Marcellus Shale. This includes more than 500 threatened and endangered species, and species of conservation concern. WPC assesses the condition of stream and riparian habitats at 30 focal areas for upland habitat assessment. Beginning in 2013, WPC conducted chemical and biological water quality monitoring activities at all aquatic sites and evaluated forest condition and the communities of interior forest birds in the upland areas.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples, data loggers
  • Frequency: 2-4 times per year (field samples), continuous (loggers), seasonal (macros)
  • Indicators: conductivity, pH alkalinity, manganese, aluminum, sulfates, nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, macroinvertebrates
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, samples returned to laboratory
  • Training: N/A
  • Data management: WPC

PA Water Generic

Wysox Creek Watershed Association

Web: www.dickinson.edu/allarm
Contact: allarm@dickinson.edu

Watershed Regions: Wysox Creek Watershed

Mission:

The Wysox Creek Watershed Association works with stream bank stabilization efforts and the installation of dirt and gravel road best management practices in the Parks Creek Watershed in Bradford County. Parks Creek is a tributary of Wysox Creek, which begins in Windham Township and travels through Rome Township. Volunteers are actively monitoring water quality using the Alliance for Aquatic Resources Protocol (ALLARM).

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity / total dissolved solids (TDS), stream depth, barium, strontium, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field, split samples sent twice a year to a laboratory for accuracy testing
  • Training: ALLARM
  • Data management: ALLARM, Shale Network

keystonepa1

Pennsylvania County Conservation Districts

Web: http://pacd.org/

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout Pennsylvania

Mission:
In addition to the many volunteer organizations, watershed associations, and other nonprofit environmental conservation groups listed here, a number of Pennsylvania County Conservation Districts (CCDs) also facilitate surface water monitoring programs. We include these efforts because, unlike monitoring programs affiliated with government agencies such as those run by DCNR or DEP, these CCD programs rely on resources provided by academic programs, nonprofits, and private foundations. For additional details please visit the CCD individual websites:

Armstrong Conservation District
http://www.armstrongcd.org/

Crawford County Conservation District
http://www.crawfordconservation.com/

Elk County Conservation District
http://www.co.elk.pa.us/conservation/

McKean County Conservation District
http://www.mckeancountypa.org/Departments/Conservation_District/Index.aspx

Warren County Conservation District
http://www.wcconservation.net/

Monitoring Based in West Virginia

PA Water Generic

Friends of Blackwater

Web: www.saveblackwater.org
Contact: info@saveblackwater.org

Watershed Regions: Watersheds throughout the Mid-Atlantic Appalachian Highlands

Mission:

Friends of Blackwater is a non-profit conservation organization working in the Mid-Atlantic Appalachian Highlands with a mission to protect key landscapes and watersheds, natural and human communities, and to support economic development that maximizes biodiversity and outdoor recreational. We work to clean up streams in the Blackwater watershed degraded by acid mine drainage, and work to restore trout to headwater streams in the Monongahela National Forest.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: Friends of Blackwater
  • Data management: 3RQ

WV Deckers

Friends of Deckers Creek – Clean Creek Program

Web: www.deckerscreek.org
Contact: liz@deckerscreek.org

Watershed Regions: Deckers Creek Watershed

Mission:

The Deckers Creek watershed is polluted by acid mine drainage (AMD), bacteria, heavy metals, sediment, trash, and general abandonment. The biggest threat to the watershed is AMD, which jeopardizes the environmental quality of Deckers Creek and its tributaries. The Clean Creek Program (CCP) monitors water quality and assessment of fish and invertebrate communities at 13 sites across the watershed, disseminates findings through an annual State of the Creek report to the community, and builds capacity with local businesses through CCP sponsorships to restore and protect Deckers Creek.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: Friends of Deckers Creek
  • Data management: 3RQ

PA Water Generic

Friends of Hughes River

Web: www.facebook.com/FriendsoftheHughes
Contact: friendsofthehughes@yahoo.com

Watershed Regions: Hughes River Watershed

Mission:

Friends of the Hughes is a group concerned about the waters of the Hughes River. Our mission is to preserve, protect, monitor, and improve the waters of Ritchie County, which has over 100 miles of North, South, and Middle Forks of the Hughes River.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: Friends of the Hughes
  • Data management: 3RQ

WV Fork

Guardians of the West Fork

Web: www.guardiansofthewestfork.com
Contact: JMEleyette@rocketmail.com

Watershed Regions: West Fork Watershed

Mission:

Guardians of the West Fork Watershed is a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the ecological integrity of the West Fork River, its tributaries, and its watershed. We monitor and assist agencies in monitoring biological, physical, chemical, and cultural characteristics of the watershed to identify sources of degradation and suggest their elimination. We also publicize the status of the watershed and encourage education and recreational enjoyment of the watershed.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: GWF
  • Data management: 3RQ

WV Tygart

Save the Tygart Watershed Association

Web: www.savethetygartriver.org
Contact: savethetygart@gmail.com

Watershed Regions: ygart Valley River Watershed

Mission:

Save The Tygart Watershed Association was incorporated in 2001 to improve and protect the water quality of the Tygart River and its tributaries. We are an “all volunteer” organization. All activities, such as water sampling and monitoring, are funded by membership dues, grants and charitable contributions.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: Friends of Deep Creek Lake
  • Data management: 3RQ

WV Whiteday

Whiteday Creek Watershed Association

Web: www.savewhitedaycreek.org
Contact: Sitemanager@savewhitedaycreek.org

Watershed Regions: White Day Creek Watershed

Mission:

Whiteday Creek runs between the borders of Marion and Monongalia counties in north central West Virginia. The Watershed Association’s mission is to maintain and improve the watersheds ability to support recreational activities in a safe and healthy environment, ensure that economic pursuits within the watershed comply with environmental protection regulations, and to maintain and improve its function as a habitat. Volunteer stream monitors are presently testing water samples at three different locations on Whiteday Creek.

Monitoring Protocol:

  • Methods: field samples
  • Frequency: biweekly to monthly
  • Indicators: conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH, temperature, stream depth, visual assessments
  • QA/QC: equipment calibration, duplicate samples tested in the field
  • Training: Whiteday Creek WA
  • Data management: 3RQ

Note that the monitoring methods described on this page detail the “typical” protocol used by the organization. Monitoring practices at each individual monitoring location may vary, and readers should contact the organization for more information on their program.

For a more detailed explanation of terms, such as descriptions of different methods, indicators, and quality assurance plans that groups use, see: A Guide to Water Monitoring Protocols.

For more information, please contact Kirk Jalbert: jalbert@fractracker.org