The goals of Channelkeeper’s Stream Team Program are to collect and disseminate data to measure the health of local streams; identify and abate specific sources of pollution to these streams; measure trends or changes resulting from pollution prevention efforts; and foster environmental stewardship in our community by providing a rewarding outdoor volunteer opportunity for local citizens. Stream Team is one of Channelkeeper’s longest running and most successful programs, which to date has educated and engaged more than 1,000 volunteers in helping us conduct monthly water quality sampling. Each month, Stream Team volunteers test common water quality parameters at at 47 stream sites in the watersheds of the Goleta Valley, Carpinteria Valley and Ventura River. Volunteers use portable meters to test in-stream parameters such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and conductivity. In addition, samples are collected that are later analyzed in the laboratory for bacteria and nutrients. Visual observations such as weather conditions, algae coverage, water clarity, odors, and trash are also recorded on standardized datasheets. We follow rigorous Quality Assurance/Quality Control protocols that are based on a Quality Assurance Project Plan approved by the State Water Resources Control Board. Our Stream Team data is used by government agencies to inform pollution prevention programs and water resource management decisions. We’ve identified numerous pollution hot spots and sources through Stream Team sampling and have worked cooperatively with the relevant government agencies to get these problems cleaned up. Our ultimate goal is cleaner, healthier water and a more environmentally responsible citizenry that is actively engaged in addressing the pollution problems plaguing our waterways.
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