Watershed Group Needs Field and Lab Volunteers

by | Mar 5, 2019

The Blackstone River Coalition (BRC) seeks volunteers to assist with its 16th year of water quality monitoring of 30 sites in the headwaters region of the watershed.  Field monitors are needed to sample Leesville Pond Inlet on Sword Street near Rt 12 in Auburn, Leesville Pond Outlet on Webster Street by Hope Cemetery in Worcester, Poor Farm Brook along N.E. Cutoff in Worcester, and West Brook by Baker Ave in Shrewsbury.  Additional volunteers are needed who can serve as “floaters” to cover sites on an “as needed” basis. 

Fieldwork not your thing? Come volunteer in the water-testing lab. The lab for the program’s Headwaters Team is located at Mass Audubon’s Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary at 414 Massasoit Rd. in Worcester.

The BRC recruits and trains citizen scientists to participate in the Coalition’s watershed-wide volunteer water quality monitoring program.  The goal of this long-running program is to gather information about the current status of, and long-term changes in, the health of the Blackstone River watershed.  This information helps local policy makers, state officials, and concerned citizens make the Blackstone River cleaner for people and for wildlife.

Over 90 volunteers work with the BRC to sample 75 sites throughout the watershed from Worcester to Pawtucket.  Sites are sampled on the second Saturday of each month from April through November. Field monitors and floaters are trained in a 1.5 hr session to test for dissolved oxygen at the site, record physical and aesthetic parameters, and collect a water sample that they drop off at the lab between 9:00 a.m. and noon on the Saturday of testing.  Lab volunteers, who help test these samples for nutrients, conductivity, and turbidity, do not need to commit to helping each month and can be trained the first time they assist.

If you live between Upton and Blackstone, MA, you can assist the Midreach Team, which monitors 28 sites and runs its testing lab out of the Tri-Rivers Medical Center on Oak Street in Uxbridge, MA.

To volunteer as a field monitor, floater, or lab assistant, please contact Susan Thomas, Coordinator, BRC Volunteer WQM Program at 508-471-0988/ acadia94@zoho.com.