The Alliance’s citizen water quality monitoring program is a regional network of over 50 trained volunteers who perform weekly water quality tests that help track the condition of waterways flowing toward the Chesapeake Bay.

Some have worked with the Alliance for more than ten years, watching their rivers through the seasons and regularly submitting the valuable data they collect.


  • dissolved oxygen
  • pH
  • water clarity
  • general observations
  • temperature
  • salinity (where appropriate)
  • bacteria


Many thanks to our funders! Through the VA Department of Environmental Quality Citizen Monitoring Grant, we receive funds annually to help cover the cost of equipment. The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (VA’s License Plate Fund) has also generously supported various aspects of the program. Dominion Foundation is another supporter. If you’re interested in getting a VA Chesapeake license plate, check out the DMV website.


All volunteers are trained by Certified Watershed Coordinators under the Alliance’s Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP). Training includes an initial session where monitors learn about water quality and testing methods and an annual recertification session to check monitoring equipment, chemicals, and methods. Check out the Volunteer Water Quality Manual for more details.

The Alliance also provides a Train-the-Trainer program, where regional coordinators can be trained to provide support to their group’s monitoring programs.


Data is annually submitted the to Virginia DEQ for use in the Virginia’s 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Water Quality Assessment Report to EPA which summarizes water quality conditions and identified waters that do not meet water quality standards. You can check out all citizen monitoring sites and data with this interactive map.

Currently, the Alliance is working with several of our partners to develop local watershed report cards and web-based interactive mapping tools. These resources will allow water quality monitoring groups and others to effectively use their data for education and interpretation purposes.

How to Volunteer

Join us! Register online to become a RiverTrends water quality monitoring volunteer.

Being a volunteer helps provide valuable insight on the quality of water in your area. Volunteers learn about local and Chesapeake Bay-wide water issues, monitoring techniques, and what each parameter means for the health of their waterbody. Become a citizen scientist for your local creek or river today!

Trainings and recertifications are held annually. We will work with you to schedule a training in your area. If you have ever wondered about the water you fish, swim, recreate, or enjoy in other ways, RiverTrends is the opportunity for you! We will provide you with annual trainings, all of the necessary sampling materials, and a step-by- step instruction manual to perform each test.

To learn more about the program or volunteer, please contact our program coordinator Amy Hagerdon at

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Amy Hagerdon Virginia Program Coordinator, Virginia Office

Amy is the Alliance's Program Coordinator for the Virginia office. She coordinates several programs, such as Reduce Your Stromwater, RiverTrends, and RiverWise -- Communities and Congregations.

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Liz Chudoba Water Quality Program Manager, Virginia Office

Liz is the Alliance's Water Quality Program Manager. She manages the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative partnership, and the Alliance's RiverTrends program.

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