Crow’s Nest: Schuylkill Water Stewards meeting
By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager
We hosted an exciting training program on Saturday—the Schuylkill Water Stewards. Volunteers are being trained to monitor water quality throughout the Schuylkill River watershed.
In addition to measuring physical and chemical parameters such as pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and temperature they are being trained on a unique method of assessing stream health. Essentially, a layperson with a few hours of training can identify characteristics of a stream—visible to the eye, and easily recorded in an hour—that have a 95% correlation with the benthic indicators of stream quality that would take a scientist a full day of sampling to evaluate.
These volunteers will disperse and fill in data gaps throughout the streams that feed into the Schuylkill River. The project is a partnership of Green Valleys Association, French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust, Natural Lands Trust, Hay Creek Watershed Association, Berks County Conservancy and Audubon Pennsylvania. It is part of a William Penn Foundation initiative to protect and restore the Delaware River watershed (of which the Schuylkill River is the largest part locally).
A fun part of the presentation was an observation made by Tom Davidock, coordinator of the Schuylkill Action Network: the shape of the Schuylkill River watershed (all the land that drains into the Schuylkill River) is shaped like a leaping rabbit. Can you see it?