Community volunteers look at Big Stream water quality

A stream monitoring collaboration between the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA) and the Community Science Institute (CSI) to monitor streams flowing to Seneca Lake involved some 45 local volunteers collecting samples from Catherine Creek, Reeder Creek, and Big Stream throughout 2014. With plans to expand the stream monitoring to additional watersheds, SLPWA and CSI will be holding public events as part of the “What’s In Your Watershed?” series to educate the community about local water quality issues.The Community Science Institute, whose mission is to empower citizens to monitor and protect water quality, began monitoring Cayuga Lake tributary streams in 2002 and now has over 100 monitoring locations in the Cayuga Lake watershed. Volunteers collect water samples from fixed locations and CSI’s certified water testing lab performs tests to characterize water quality, publishing results, including those from Seneca Lake tributaries, in their free online database at www.communityscience.org/database.The first “What’s In Your Watershed?” event in the Seneca Lake Watershed is scheduled for Monday, May 4th from 6-7:30 PM at the Glenora Verasions, located at 5435 State Route 14 in Dundee. The event, “Big Stream – What’s In Your Watershed?” will highlight water quality issues in the Big Stream watershed. Big stream flows through the Town of Dundee and enters Seneca Lake at the scenic Glenora Point on the west side of the lake.Frances Dumas, Yates County Historian, will make a presentation about the history of the Big Stream watershed and development in the Town of Dundee. Steve Penningroth, Executive Director of the Community Science Institute, will present results from the 2014 monitoring events in Big Stream and discuss the types of water quality issues that may be facing Big Stream in the future.SLPWA is seeking additional volunteers for the 2015 Stream Sampling Program, which will be monitoring the same three streams (Catherine Creek, Reeder Creek, Big Stream) in addition to the Keuka Outlet. Volunteers can express their interest by emailing slpwa@senecalake.org and indicate which stream they would like to monitor.Additional “What’s In Your Watershed?” events for Catherine Creek and Reeder Creek will be held between June-October 2015.

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