Volunteers wade through creeks in Contra Costa County (California), using the latest technology and scientific protocols to collect baseline data on our local watersheds. Our two primary programs are Bioassessment sampling and GPS Creek Surveys. Bioassessment - Using aquatic insects as indicators of water quality, volunteers learn more about the health of their neighborhood creeks and identify potential problem areas. While water samples yield a detailed identification of the water at the time of sampling, the density and diversity of bugs in our creeks yield a watershed-level perspective of water quality and habitat viability over time. GPS Creek Surveys - Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, volunteers map the physical attributes of the stream channel (substrate, canopy cover, bank characteristics, etc.), extent and type of native and invasive vegetation, and human influences (outfalls, dams, etc.). Joining a data collection event is a fun way to explore parts of your urban environment most people never see, but they are more than just fun ... they’re science!
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