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BRC watershed group seeks volunteer monitors

The Blackstone River Coalition (BRC) is seeking volunteers to assist with its 15th year of water quality monitoring of 30 sites in the headwaters region of the watershed. Field monitors are needed to sample Poor Farm Brook along N.E. Cutoff in Worcester, and Broad Meadow Brook near Dunkirk Rd in Worcester. 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 on 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 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 one-hour 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 runs its testing lab out of the TriRivers 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/[email protected].