Dominic D’Ambrosi and John Novak
The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) Save Our Streams (SOS) program provides a protocol to monitor water quality in local creeks and streams. These protocols are implemented through biological, chemical, and physical monitor- ing using procedures established by the SOS program. SOS guidance provides that a stream should be monitored from two to six times a year, and it is the goal of the B-CC IWLA to conduct at least one monitoring event each in the spring, summer, fall, and winter. The League’s challenge is to monitor 100,000 more stream sites nationwide by 2022.
In May of 2018 several members of our chapter participated in SOS training and became certified stream monitors. The last few months of 2018 we procured biological and chemical monitoring equipment and started to hone our monitoring skills. In April of this year, we conducted biological and chemical monitoring of a stream on our chapter grounds. The results indicated the condition of our stream was rated as fair. This was not due to the chemical composition of the stream, which was very good, but due the scarcity of macroinvertebrates that we were able to collect. In August a small group of us ventured to Hookers Branch, which feeds into Seneca Creek, for another stream monitoring event. The results were basically the same as our stream, very good chemical water quality with a fair rating for macroinvertebrates. This supports water quality ratings in the area of our chapter, with several area streams rating as poor.
Our initial efforts warrant more inquiry of area stream water quality and we are looking for everyone’s assistance in helping our program grow. We anticipate conducting at least one more stream-monitoring event before the year ends and hope some of you will join us. We also are going to start mon- itoring for salt as part of the League’s Winter Salt Watch so we can ascertain the effects to our stream’s water due to the use of salt to treat the roads.
If you would like more information on how to get involved in our Chapter’s SOS efforts, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or attend our next Ponds and Streams committee meeting or work event.