by Kathy Whitlow, Office ManagerA beautiful June morning monitoring at Donner Creek. Credit: Kathy Whitlow

: to watch, observe, listen to, or check (something) for a special purpose over a period of time
mon·i·tored | mon·i·tor·ing | \ˈmä-nə-t(ə-)riŋ\

To move forward, you must understand where you are… and where you’ve been.

The Truckee River region—where the beauty of nature draws people who revel in it—is threatened. A damaging past (from mining, grazing and logging) coupled with a tenuous future (from drought, growth, and climate change) impacts the outdoor lifestyle people cherish. We help reverse these impacts by restoring a vibrant and healthy watershed.

For me, this starts with our watershed… and water quality monitoring. The water quality data is essential to identifying restoration needs. Monitoring tells us where we’ve been, where we are, and helps us determine how to point the way to more resilient watershed. This is so satisfying for me – knowing I am helping to get us to a healthy future.

An Adopt-A-Stream volunteer collects a water sample to test for turbidity, which impacts sedimentation. Credit: Jon Baiocchi.We regularly monitor area streams through Adopt-A-Stream:

  1. Chemical, physical, and habitat monitoring happens four times a year, May through September. It only takes 2-4 hours each time. My family has adopted Donner Creek and we been monitoring there for several years now – I love getting to know the creek and the surrounding area in this meaningful way!
  2. Biological aquatic monitoring happens year round. Field collection happens in the summer. Those samples are sorted and identified through the winter.

Our goal is for everyone and everything—from bugs and beavers, to bicyclists and birdwatchers— to flourish in this interconnected environment. Our committed groups of citizen water quality monitors collect the vital information we need to work toward this goal. Much of this monitoring is work that wouldn’t get done without TRWC volunteers.

I hope you can join me and other volunteers to monitor the health of our creeks and streams. Check our calendar to find an Adopt-A-Stream volunteer opportunity today!