FoRR is Seeking to Activate Citizen Scientists from Travelers Rest to Greenwood
Friends of the Reedy River (FoRR) has been actively monitoring water quality and ecological habitat throughout the Reedy River watershed for two years. More assistance is needed to collect citizen science data from Travelers Rest all the way to Lake Greenwood, where the Reedy meets the Saluda River. FoRR utilizes SC Adopt-a-Stream protocols to test for physical and chemical parameters, such as available dissolved oxygen for fish, pH to determine the water’s acidity, conductivity to measure the number of ions present, and E. coli bacteria counts as a measure of recreational safety. Findings have included high bacteria presence in waterways under certain conditions. Establishing a baseline of water quality data is essential to identifying what changes to land use or water resources management are having positive or negative effects on the health of the Reedy River.
SC Adopt-a-Stream is an EPA and SC DHEC-accredited program being led by SC DHEC and Clemson University’s Center for Watershed Excellence. Volunteer data is entered into a secure database with accessible data for the public, local stormwater departments, and more; data can be seen as a screening tool for further local action and evaluation.
Olivia Dunn, FoRR Watershed Scientist, has created an interactive map of available monitoring locations along the Reedy River to help guide new volunteers in finding safe sites where data is needed for the organization’s education, advocacy, and river work. Once sufficient data has been collected for sites, one can make connections between land use in the area and how these changes are impacting our waterways. The more data that is collected and distributed throughout the watershed, the better we can find sources that are either negatively impacting waters through pollution and illegal discharges, or improving our waters through river restoration work and best management practices. The monitoring protocols include alerts that can be sent to counties and cities to expedite follow up to pollution from illegal dumping, sewer leaks, construction debris, and more. The map includes information such as parking, access to the site, photos, and if applicable, links to the site’s past water quality data.
“The great thing about the SC Adopt-a-Stream program is that citizens don’t need to have any prior knowledge or scientific experience to learn how to monitor water quality. The hardest part about getting started is finding a safe and accessible site. I created this map to = make it as easy as possible for newly certified volunteers to find their perfect and convenient monitoring location,” states Olivia Dunn. Citizens must become a certified volunteer by attending a free one-day SC Adopt-a-Stream workshop before borrowing testing kits and monitoring water quality. More information about upcoming Adopt-a-Stream events can be found at www.scadoptastream.com. FoRR has also developed a monitoring team of certified volunteers that monitor along the Reedy and its tributaries monthly, and more information can be found by signing up for their newsletter.
Friends of the Reedy River is a 501(c)3 organization that advocates for the health of the Reedy River, educates, and activates the public through water quality monitoring, river cleanups, and river restoration work. More information about the organization and their important work can be found at www.friendsofthereedyriver.org and on Facebook and Instagram at @friendsofreedyriver.
Map of Available Monitoring Sites: bit.ly/reedymonitoringmap
SC Adopt-a-Stream: www.scadoptastream.org