NSRWA, as part of the Eastern Massachusetts Water Quality Monitoring Coalition, is excited to report that the coalition will be receiving Mass DEP funding for water quality monitoring this spring. The Coalition consists of six watershed associations, one lake association, and one organization whose primary objective is to involve students in collecting water quality data. The mission of each of these organizations is centered around collecting high-quality data on the health of local streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Funding from this grant will allow coalition members to purchase water quality monitoring supplies and equipment, as well as convene a training meeting to synchronize sampling methods and explore regional trends in water quality data. Data collected will be used to support and expand the surface water sampling already done by each organization. The data will support the identification of stream impairments under criteria set forth in §305(b) and §303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and be submitted to the state as external data submittals under the Watershed Planning Program.

All of the coalition members enter into this group with experience in water sampling in their home waters for bacteria, conductivity, nutrients, and/or cyanobacteria. However, collectively we have more experience than any one organization, and thus we seek to leverage this distributed knowledge to synergize our approaches on a regional level.

For NSRWA this work will help fund equipment, supplies, and summer intern time for our ongoing RiverWatch Water Quality surveys.  RiverWatch has been a flagship water quality monitoring program of the NSRWA since 1994. This program relies heavily on local volunteers to collect samples throughout the watershed. Stay tuned to learn how you can help be an important Citizen Scientist this summer.