River Watcher Training in March and April

Love the Musky? Want to become an expert on water quality and aquatic life, and help protect the health of the river? Are you a student interested in the environmental sciences, but you’d like more experience? Become a River Watcher! The MWA Water Quality Program is offering Paraprofessional Stream Monitoring Certification training sessions in March and April. These sessions will cover Biological Monitoring, Habitat Assessment, and Chemical Monitoring. Participants must be 16 years or older and enjoy working outdoors. The data volunteers collect helps MWA provide communities with a better understanding of how the water we drink, and fish/swim/boat in is directly affected by what we do on the land, and what we can do to help.

Training Session Dates:

River Watcher Chemical Monitoring: Saturday, March 14, 9 am-1 pm at the MWA River Resource Center, 10 Maple Avenue, Asbury, NJ.

Habitat Assessment:  Saturday, March 21, 9 am-1 pm at the MWA River Resource Center: 10 Maple Avenue, Asbury, NJ.

Biological Monitoring (Advanced):  Saturday, March 28, 9 am-1 pm at Warren County Community College, 475 Route 57 West, Washington NJ.

Biological Monitoring (Beginner):  Saturday, April 18, 10 am-2 pm at Warren County Community College, 475 Route 57 West, Washington NJ.

All training sessions include field, classroom and lab work. Trainees will be assigned to one of five monitoring team sites. Teams will monitor their sites in April, July, October, and January, on a weekend day to be announced at the trainings.

Call the MWA office at 908-537-7060, or email nancy@musconetcong.org to reserve your seat for the trainings or for more information.

Background:  The MWA River Watcher Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring program has been monitoring four sites along the main stem of the Musconetcong since 2007. Volunteers collect visual/habitat information, collect biological samples, and assess each site for temperature as well as dissolved oxygen, nitrate and pH levels during spring, summer, autumn and winter. This dates serves to help MWA by providing baseline data to compare to our restoration project data, and also supports river stewardship. While NJDEP also collects some data, certain types of data are only collected every 5 years—the MWA data is important because it provides more frequent assessment.

Note: We are pleased to announce that the Trout Unlimited Ridge & Valley chapter has agreed to financially sponsor and provide volunteers to monitor a new site on Shurts Road on the Franklin Township/Hampton border. There is a tributary at this site that has severely degraded habitat; MWA is working on understanding the impacts to this tributary and the mainstem at this location.