Riverkeepers Offer Training for New & Returning Creekwatchers

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Creekwatcher Mike Bilek recording data while taking water samples on the Wye River.

On Monday, April 2 from 5-7 p.m. at the Talbot County Free Library, ShoreRivers (formerly Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy) will offer information and training for its Midshore Creekwatchers program. ShoreRivers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and celebration of the waterways that comprise the Chester River, Choptank River, Eastern Bay, Miles River, Sassafras River, and Wye River watersheds. Volunteer citizen scientists known as Creekwatchers are an invaluable component of ShoreRivers’ efforts to monitor health and trends in Midshore rivers.

The Creekwatchers water quality monitoring program has grown to over 50 volunteers who test various parameters at approximately 120 sites on nine rivers. These citizen scientists measure salinity, temperature, water clarity, and dissolved oxygen. They test for nitrogen, phosphorous, and chlorophyll a concentrations. Data collected by Creekwatchers is used to compile ShoreRivers’ annual Midshore Rivers Report Card, which in turn assists ShoreRivers in grant applications, advocacy, and outreach efforts. The data is also used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other agencies that study river health.

The 2017 Midshore River Report Card will be released at several State of the Rivers presentations in the region as shown below. Refreshments will be served and the events are free and open to the public.

• MILES & WYE RIVERS – April 20, 2018, 5 p.m. at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum,213 N. Talbot Street, Saint Michaels
• CHOPTANK RIVER – April 26, 5:30 p.m. at Heritage Museums and Gardens of Dorchester, Robbins Heritage Center, 1003 Greenway Drive, Cambridge
• WYE & CHESTER RIVERS – May 16, 6 p.m. at Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, 600 Discovery Lane, Grasonville

Creekwatcher training on April 2 is free and open to the public. A light supper will be served. For more information, visit shorerivers.org or contact Rebecca Murphy at 443.385.0511 or rmurphy@shorerivers.org.

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