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RiverTrends

The Alliance’s citizen water quality monitoring program is a regional network of over 70 trained volunteers who perform weekly, biweekly, or monthly 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.

Parameters:

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

Funding:

Many thanks to our funders! We receive funds annually from the VA Department of Environmental Quality Citizen Monitoring Grant to help cover the cost of equipment for our monitors and groups participating in RiverTrends. Additionally, the program is supported by Chesapeake Bay Program through the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative.

Training:

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.

Data:

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. Additionally, this data is passed along to the Chesapeake Bay Program.

To access and view our RiverTrends data in addition to other datasets collected throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, visit the Chesapeake Data Explorer.

How to Volunteer

Join us! 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 Sophie Stern, sstern@allianceforthebay.org.

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Liz Chudoba Director of Water Quality Programs, Virginia Office

Liz is the Alliance's Director of Water Quality Programs. She manages the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative partnership, and the Alliance's RiverTrends program.

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Sophie Stern RiverTrends Coordinator, Virginia Office

Sophie joined the Alliance in June 2019 as the RiverTrends Coordinator. She is looking forward to continue to motivate citizen scientists to connect with their waterways and provide essential data for improving water quality throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

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