The River Monitoring program is an award-winning* model of a citizen-based effort to monitor and assess water quality conditions. The program is similar to nationwide RiverKeeper programs that have contributed to the protection and restoration of waterways for healthy wildlife, safe recreation, and reliable water supplies. Through the Yuba River community, SYRCL has been able to build and maintain a program that is unique in it’s scope and dedication.
At the heart of the River Monitoring program, volunteers visit their adopted sites monthly to test water quality conditions and record their observations. In addition to routinely measuring many water quality parameters (water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and conductivity) volunteers monitor for the presence of sensitive and invasive species, and occasionally test for bacteria, nutrients and toxic metals. The program is based on the scientifically-credible Quality Assurance Program Plan approved by the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
River Monitoring Resources are available for volunteer monitors, and those seeking access to program products and tools.
A basic presentation of the program provides a convenient overview of the program with photos. If you are interested in becoming a River Monitor, please select the Volunteer button at right and complete a very brief application.
The State of the Yuba Report (2006) provides a thorough assessment of the Yuba River Watershed drawing on data from the River Monitoring Program. To access river monitoring data, interpretive charts, site maps and other information useful for watershed assessment, visit the Yuba River Watershed Information System (yubashed.org).
Join the 2013 River Monitoring Team!!
SYRCL is calling all river lovers to join the 2013 River Monitoring Team. Become a trained volunteer to participate in SYRCL’s River Monitoring Program with an upcoming 2-part training. The orientation and the field training together will equip volunteers with the understanding, theory and skills they need to feel confident collecting scientifically credible data on water quality conditions throughout the Yuba Watershed.
River Monitoring Orientation
When: Thursday, April 11 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where: SYRCL Office, 216 Main Street in Nevada City
What: Learn about the background of SYRCL’s River Monitoring Program, with an emphasis on what and why we monitor.
River Monitoring Field Training
When: Saturday April 20, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Where: Bridgeport Crossing at South Yuba River State Park
What: Receive hands-on training in the sampling protocol, experience working with equipment and filling out a datasheet and recording observations from start to finish
Contact Marianne Pott, River Monitoring Coordinator, if you are interested in participating in this award winning citizen science project that protects the Yuba River Watershed.
Thank You River Monitors! You are the Key to our Successful Program.
River Monitors are community members who have become trained in water quality sampling and participate in monthly sampling occasions. These incredible volunteers range from high school students to senior citizens, dedicating a year of their time and energy to the river. With more than 80 active River Monitors, SYRCL is able to monitor conditions at up to 44 stations. River Monitors commonly report that their contributions to the program are a rewarding form of volunteerism. Many River Monitors have been with the program since its inception.
The Monitoring Program Grows with our Watershed Community
Since the official start of the River Monitoring program in 2000, SYRCL has expanded water quality monitoring sites to include a variety of tributaries, provide a more thorough coverage of the watershed, and enable targeted evaluation of issues of concern. In addition, we have launched several special monitoring projects that require assistance outside routine monthly monitoring. These projects include stormwater sampling, operation of temperature data loggers, and bioassessment involving macroinvertebrates and algae. Volunteers are important to the success of these projects, and our overall goal of assessing the condition of our watershed and evaluating potential actions aimed at protection or restoration. Many volunteer monitors have also assisted with our Meadows Health Assessment project.
*In November, 2001, The Yuba River Monitoring Program was honored with the Sierra Nevada Group of the Sierra Club’s prestigious Citizen Activist Award. The award commends the program’s outstanding work for the local environment and the community.