New Jersey Seeks Volunteer Monitors
By Jared Eudell
In July 2003, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) sent notice to various environmental groups that a new approach was being developed to accept volunteer water monitoring data. This new initiative, the Water Watch Network, is a collaboration of an Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) consisting of NJDEP’s data users and Water Resource Managers, and an External Advisory Committee (EAC) made up of monitoring program coordinators and volunteers from the community. The Network is facilitated by NJDEP volunteer monitoring coordinator Danielle Donkersloot (whose vision and dedication won an EPA Environmental Quality Award, which she accepted on behalf of the Network).
The program has opened communication channels between the NJDEP and the citizen monitoring community. The IAC tells the Network at what level of rigor they will accept data for particular uses. The Network then organizes that information and disseminates it to monitoring groups in the form of a four-tiered chart and coordinates events and resources to help the groups understand the tiers, design their programs, recruit volunteers and collect sound data.
To date, the Network has provided guidance to new and established monitoring programs, co-sponsored chemical and biological trainings and coordinated three water monitoring summits. It is working on creating a user-friendly data storage and management system and is beginning to develop protocols for lake monitoring.
For more information about the Watershed Watch Network visit: www.nj.gov/dep/watershedmgt/volunteer_monitoring.htm.
For information about Hackensack Riverkeeper’s® monitoring programs or to become a volunteer monitor, call Jared at 201-968-0808 or visit: http://meri.njmeadowlands.gov/wq/njmc.htm to learn about the high school educational monitoring program.
Previous Article | Next Article
Return to News Page