Thursday, April 4, 2013

Volunteers needed to monitor the health of Minnesota lakes, streams

St. Paul, Minn. -- Do you live near a lake or stream in Minnesota, or visit one regularly?

If so, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) needs your help. Join more than 1,400 Minnesotans who track the health of their favorite lake or stream through the Citizen Lake Monitoring Program or the Citizen Stream Monitoring Program.

These volunteers measure water clarity in their lake or stream weekly throughout the summer months, using simple equipment provided by the MPCA. Water clarity, or transparency, is an important indicator of the health of a lake or stream. The MPCA uses water clarity data to track water quality trends and to make decisions on watershed protection and restoration. For some lakes and streams, data collected by volunteers are the only data available, making this work very valuable.

Some volunteers have participated in the MPCAĆ¢€™s water monitoring program for over 35 years. Long-term volunteers report that monitoring has given them a new way of learning about the lake or stream they love, and volunteers enjoy sharing their knowledge with neighbors who also care about clean water.

To become a volunteer or learn more about the programs, visit the MPCAĆ¢€™s Volunteer surface water monitoring webpage or call 651-296-6300 (in the Twin Cities) or 800-657-3864 (outside the Twin Cities metro area).