DEC recruiting summer water samplers; training set at Raquette Lake

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is recruiting participants for the 2016 summer sampling season to conduct water quality assessments in streams and rivers.

The effort is part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project.

WAVE data are used to augment the work of the DEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit, which samples streams and rivers across the state to create an inventory of stream water quality. 

Citizen monitor training sessions are scheduled at the following locations:

• Tuesday, May 10, 9am-4pm at Raquette Lake (Hamilton County)

• Friday, May 20, 9am-4pm at Lowville (Lewis County)

Citizen monitors will provide valuable information to assist in identifying healthy stream sites and flagging sites that potentially have water quality concerns.

These data are included in federal and state water quality reports and help to target professional assessments and local restoration or conservation efforts to where they are most needed.

Citizen monitors visit stream sites once per year, anytime between July and September, and collect macroinvertebrates—insects and other small organisms—from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.

If six or more of the “Most Wanted” organisms are found, the stream segment is unimpaired and fully supports aquatic life.

If mostly “Least Wanted” organisms are found, then the stream segment is flagged for possible investigation by professionals.

Citizen monitors can participate in the WAVE project in one of three ways. They can:

(1) Serve as local coordinators who coach and coordinate their own team of WAVE participants. Local coordinators must attend a full day training to participate.

(2) Sample independently. Independent samplers must also attend a full day training to participate.

(3) Join a local team lead by a WAVE local coordinator. No training is required for this option.

To register for a training session or for more information, contact the DEC WAVE Coordinator Alene Onion by email at

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