Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Volunteers Needed for Coginchaug River Water Quality Study

Get your feet wet! The Connecticut River Watch Program (CRWP) is looking for water sampling volunteers to assist with our water quality study focused on the Coginchaug River. The study will assist in efforts to identify sources of bacteria to the Coginchaug, a river that has been designated by the state as impaired due to poor water quality.

Water samplers are needed for selected sites on streams in North Guilford, Durham, Middlefield and Middletown. Responsibilities include collecting water samples before 8 a.m. on 10 sample days (all Wednesdays), and delivering them to a nearby drop-off location. Sampling will begin on Wednesday, June 13, and continue every other week until October 17. No experience is necessary—we will train you!  To volunteer or for more information, please contact the Conservation District office at (860) 346-3282.

CRWP is a nationally recognized, EPA award-winning citizen monitoring program for the Connecticut River and tributaries directed by the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District. CRWP provides a unique opportunity for citizens to take an active role in assessing and protecting their rivers and streams. Information collected by volunteers has been used by the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection in water quality reports, at the local level to identify and address pollution problems, and in developing regional plans to restore local rivers.

Since 1992 CRWP has conducted a study of water quality and stream health in the Mattabesset River watershed, including the Coginchaug River, the major tributary of the Mattabesset. Located in Central Connecticut in relatively urbanized areas, the Mattabesset and Coginchaug rivers are currently the focus of water quality improvement efforts. Monitoring activities have included water sampling and analysis; studies of benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects and other organisms that are good indicators of water quality); surveys of physical characteristics to document stream conditions and look for sources of pollution; and periodic visual inspections to identify runoff-related and other water quality concerns.

The Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Middletown, works to conserve the natural resources of towns in the lower Connecticut River watershed and coastal areas. For more information about District technical and educational programs and services, visit our website at

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