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DC Citizen Science - Water Quality Monitoring

Become a Volunteer Water Quality Citizen Scientist and gain hands-on experience collecting data and water samples throughout the District!

DOEE awarded a grant to Anacostia Riverkeeper to implement a volunteer-based citizen science water quality monitoring program with the goal of providing up-to-date, weekly water quality data to residents and visitors. For this project, Anacostia Riverkeeper has partnered with Audubon Naturalist Society, Rock Creek Conservancy, Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

All interested volunteers are required to attend one training session. Training sessions for 2020 will all be held via online resources.

Training sessions are available on the following dates:

  • Anacostia Watershed (May 18, 12pm-1:30pm or 3:30-5:00pm)
  • Rock Creek Watershed (May 19, 10am-11:30am or 12:00pm-1:30pm)
  • Potomac Watershed (May 21, 12pm-1:30pm or 3:30-5:00pm)

- Sign up and select one training date in your watershed of interest >>

After attending a training session and passing a certification test, volunteers become certified water quality citizen scientists who can help collect water quality samples. Monitoring with volunteers will not take place during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency in the District. However, we want to begin training volunteers now so they will be ready once the emergency is lifted.

Generally, a certified water quality citizen scientist helps collect water quality samples from any of the 22 monitoring sites weekly during the summer. Sampling is done Wednesday, with Thursday as a backup for inclement weather. Each site is sampled for bacteria, water temperature, air temperature, pH, and turbidity. All supplies related to the monitoring effort will be provided.

Volunteers will be notified when the 2020 monitoring season will begin. The program has a work plan to ensure volunteers follow DC Health COVID-19 guidelines. For updates on the District’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), visit coronavirus.dc.gov.

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