Abstract Title

Session S-05I: Education, Communication, and Citizen Science

Keywords

Citizens/Education

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Description

Skagit Stream Team citizen volunteers have been collecting and analyzing the health of priority Skagit County streams since 1998. The program was developed in response to local watershed action planning and the need to establish a baseline monitoring program that initially focused in 3 priority sub-basins. Over the years the program has continued to grow. We are currently working in 10 sub-basins with 71 active volunteers. In addition to educating and engaging local residents, the program has provided important baseline data to assess water quality trends, identify hotspots and document improvements. There have been numerous success stories from this program that have been recognized throughout the state. Most recently, a high fecal coliform result during a heavy rain event in 2008 in the Samish watershed (an important commercial shellfish growing area) raised concerns and led to the creation of the Storm Team - a group of dedicated Stream Team volunteers that responded to a request from the State Dept. of Health to establish baseline fecal coliform data for the Samish River during storm events. As a result of their efforts, DOH changed the classification of most of Samish Bay from Approved to Conditionally Approved and the Clean Samish Initiative (CSI), a partnership of local, state, and federal agencies and organizations, was launched in 2010. Storm Team efforts extended into the Padilla Bay watershed and most recently Edison Slough. The Stream Team program also expanded to begin baseline monitoring studies in 5 urban stream reaches in partnership with local Phase II NPDES program jurisdictions. This presentation will highlight the successes of the Skagit Stream Team/Storm Team program, and provide insight in training & managing a successful, long-term, citizen science program and engaging and maintaining community volunteers. The program is sponsored by the Skagit Conservation District and the Padilla Bay Research Reserve.

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May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

Skagit Stream Team/Storm Team Program: A Citizen Science Success Story

Room 604

Skagit Stream Team citizen volunteers have been collecting and analyzing the health of priority Skagit County streams since 1998. The program was developed in response to local watershed action planning and the need to establish a baseline monitoring program that initially focused in 3 priority sub-basins. Over the years the program has continued to grow. We are currently working in 10 sub-basins with 71 active volunteers. In addition to educating and engaging local residents, the program has provided important baseline data to assess water quality trends, identify hotspots and document improvements. There have been numerous success stories from this program that have been recognized throughout the state. Most recently, a high fecal coliform result during a heavy rain event in 2008 in the Samish watershed (an important commercial shellfish growing area) raised concerns and led to the creation of the Storm Team - a group of dedicated Stream Team volunteers that responded to a request from the State Dept. of Health to establish baseline fecal coliform data for the Samish River during storm events. As a result of their efforts, DOH changed the classification of most of Samish Bay from Approved to Conditionally Approved and the Clean Samish Initiative (CSI), a partnership of local, state, and federal agencies and organizations, was launched in 2010. Storm Team efforts extended into the Padilla Bay watershed and most recently Edison Slough. The Stream Team program also expanded to begin baseline monitoring studies in 5 urban stream reaches in partnership with local Phase II NPDES program jurisdictions. This presentation will highlight the successes of the Skagit Stream Team/Storm Team program, and provide insight in training & managing a successful, long-term, citizen science program and engaging and maintaining community volunteers. The program is sponsored by the Skagit Conservation District and the Padilla Bay Research Reserve.