Various groups are working on water monitoring issues. See the latest training series in the Calendar Page. Also, here’s an important resource for water monitoring.
Community Science Institute
The nonprofit Community Science Institute (CSI) organizes and empowers citizen volunteers to monitor water quality in streams, lakes, ponds and groundwater as a critical first step in protecting water resources. “Volunteer monitoring” and “management-quality data” are generally viewed as mutually exclusive concepts. Not at CSI. Our long-term strategy for stream and lake protection combines the action of dedicated volunteers with the scientific expertise of a state-certified testing laboratory. This strategy has resulted in baseline data sets on water quality in six streams that feed Cayuga Lake; currently the largest data set on tributary streams of any of the Finger Lakes. We are supported financially by municipalities, local foundations, and the Finger Lakes Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FL-LOWPA), as well as fees for our certified testing services. Our 2006 budget was $72,000 including one full-time and five part-time staff positions. We are actively engaged in fundraising, and we welcome your contributions as well as your testing business. CSI is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The mission of the Community Science Institute (CSI) is to foster and support environmental monitoring by volunteers in order to educate the public about natural resources and to collect scientifically credible data for use in protecting the environment and managing natural resources sustainably.
To fulfill our mission with respect to water resources in our region, we broker partnerships between volunteer groups and local government agencies to monitor streams and lakes in the Cayuga Lake watershed and beyond. We recruit and train volunteers, coordinate their monitoring activities, and assure that data produced with volunteer support meet the standards of good science as well as the data quality objectives of local stakeholders. We operate a certified water quality testing laboratory (ELAP #11790) where water samples collected by volunteers are analyzed for bacteria, nutrients, solids and minerals. We archive raw data in MS Excel spreadsheets and make the files publicly available on our website. We offer analyses and interpretations of the water quality of lakes and their feeder streams in the form of narrative summaries based on graphs and tables of key chemical, physical and microbiological parameters. Graphs, tables and summaries of results are posted on our website and updated regularly in order to provide timely information for local decision-making on a range of environmental policy issues.