Free workshops are open to citizens who want to help monitor Indiana streams
Clean, abundant water is a valuable resource. Whether as a source for drinking water, water for business and industry, or for recreation, it is irreplaceable. Again this year, a number of Hoosiers will become trained to help monitor this precious resource.
Hoosier Riverwatch, an Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) education program, is hosting a series of workshops around the state to train people to monitor local streams and rivers. The training is free, but class size is limited. A reservation is required to attend.
“Besides teaching people the basics of stream monitoring, Hoosier Riverwatch workshops foster an understanding and appreciation for conservation,” said Thomas Easterly, IDEM commissioner. “For many volunteers, helping with stream monitoring fulfills a lifelong passion for the outdoors. Participating in Hoosier Riverwatch is a great way for people to learn and help protect our water for future generations.”
Following are workshops coming up in April and May.
• Friday, April 5 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Jasper County SWCD, Rensselaer (Jasper County). To register, contact Darci Zolman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (574) 267-7445, ext. 3.
• Saturday, April 20 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Holliday Park, Indianapolis (Marion County). To register, contact John Ulmer at email@example.com or (317) 769-3500.
• Saturday, May 11 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Zion Nature Center, Zionsville (Boone County). To register, contact John Ulmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 769-3500.
• Tuesday, May 14, (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Peru Wastewater Treatment Plant, Peru (Miami County). To register, contact Jamin Beisiegel at email@example.com or (765) 473-7651. (Credits pending approved-:7 technical drinking water operator and/or 2 technical & 5 general wastewater operator.)
• Friday, May 17, (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Peru Wastewater Treatment Plant, Peru (Miami County). To register, contact Jamin Beisiegel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (765) 473-7651. (Credits pending approved-:7 technical drinking water operator and/or 2 technical & 5 general wastewater operator.)
• Friday, May 17 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Bonneyville Mill County Park, Bristol (Elkhart County). To register, contact Krista Daniels at email@example.com or (574) 875-7422.
• Saturday, May 25 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Gibson Woods Environmental Center, Hammond (Lake County). To register, contact the Lake County Parks and Recreation Department at (219) 769-7275.
The one-day workshops will provide general education in water quality issues and hands-on training in monitoring the health of rivers and streams through physical, chemical and biological testing. Upon completion of the training, volunteers will be ready to perform stream testing for a wide variety of possible pollutants. They will then submit their data to a statewide volunteer monitoring data base, which is available for the public to see.
Hoosier Riverwatch is a statewide education program that focuses on local river and stream stewardship. To date, nearly 5,000 people have participated in Hoosier Riverwatch. Hundreds of youth and adult organizations, including watershed and river protection groups, churches, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, municipalities, and schools, monitor their local water quality each year.
“The training is for anyone interested in learning about water quality and gaining hands-on experience in monitoring rivers and streams,” said Lisa Ritter-McMahan, Hoosier Riverwatch Coordinator. “People interested in the environment, including educators, are invited to attend.”
Hoosier Riverwatch was formerly managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and is now sponsored by the Watershed Assessment and Planning Branch in IDEM’s Office of Water Quality. For additional information, including a complete 2013 workshop schedule, as well as monitoring locations and data collected by program graduates, visit www.idem.IN.gov/riverwatch. The public can direct questions to Lisa Ritter-McMahan, Hoosier Riverwatch Coordinator, at (317) 308-3392 or riverwatch@idem.IN.gov.
IDEM (www.idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids businesses and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.