CITIZEN MONITORING IN THE CENTRAL RAPPAHANNOCK BASIN
With funding from the Chesapeake Restoration Fund (2005-2012), Department of Environmental Quality (2011), REI (2012) and Patagonia (2009-2010) the Friends of the Rappahannock, in partnership with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay have been running a Citizens Water Quality Monitoring Program on the Rappahannock and its tributaries. As part of the project, citizen volunteers and staff have been collecting water quality data from multiple sites including the following parameters: Dissolved Oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, E. coli and nutrients (Nitrates and Phosphates). This water quality data, in conjunction with data collected by other organizations and state agencies is vital for monitoring the health of the river, documenting changes over time and for tracking sources of pollution.
To participate, volunteers took part in a training and certification program sponsored by the Alliance for Chesapeake Bay (ACB) and Friends of the Rappahannock. Much of the high quality data collected by certified monitors is used by the VA Department of Environmental quality to help identify impaired stream segments to be included in the DEQ’s 303 (d) Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Priority List.
Information on the Various Parameters Tested and their Effects on the River:
Turbidity (Water Clarity)
Nutrients (Nitrates and Phosphates)
Bacteria (E. coli)