The Sourland Conservancy is dedicated to protecting the precious water resources of the Sourland Mountain.
STREAm monitor resources
Sourland Conservancy STREAM Program
(Sourland Team of Resource and Ecology Monitors)
The Sourland Conservancy has partnered with The Watershed Institute and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to design a stream monitoring training program to train volunteers to collect high quality biological data for stream health assessments.
This unique program for volunteers will train and certify individuals to a level at which they will be able to collect data that can be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. This is a pilot program that is the first of its kind and we are excited to offer this opportunity to Sourland Conservancy volunteers to become certified STREAM monitors that will protect the Sourland Mountain and its precious water resources.
April - May 2019: Workshop training with Watershed ambassador.
o This is a two-part workshop consisting of an indoor classroom lecture and outdoor hands-on training.
o The indoor classroom lecture is a two-hour class that goes in depth about the classification of streams and identification of macro-invertebrates. This lecture also covers the impacts of water pollination on the aquatic community and how this reflects water quality.
o The outdoor component is a two-hour, hands on experience where participants will work with watershed ambassadors to learn proper technique when collecting macro-invertebrate samples as well as learn how to identify these organisms.
May-June 2019: Apprenticeship with Watershed ambassadors.
o Once volunteers have completed a workshop training, they are now able to go out to the field with a Watershed ambassador and collect samples and hone their skills of sample collection and identification of macro-invertebrates.
June-July 2019: Collect macroinvertebrate samples without the guidance of a watershed ambassador.
o Volunteers will select a stream and conduct a habitat assessment and collect/identify macro-invertebrates, record data and submit it to the Sourland Conservancy.
September 14 & 15: Sourland Stream School.
o Volunteers will participate in a weekend intensive course taught by The Watershed Institute that goes into depth about Stream health, water quality indicators, habitat assessment and macroinvertebrate identification. At the conclusion of the course, volunteer will take a test on macro-invertebrate identification.
Fall 2019/Winter 2020: 3-4 online quizzes.
o These quizzes are short and designed to keep volunteer’s identification skills sharp.
April 4, 2020: Half-day refresher course with test and Award/certification ceremony..
o Volunteers will participate in a macroinvertebrates collection lead by The Watershed Institute followed by a test of macro-invertebrates.
o This refresher course is the final step in obtaining certification to collect Tier 3 data that can be submitted to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
o Volunteers who have completed the STREAM monitoring program and have passed the macro-invertebrate identification test will be honored and awarded a certificate of certification at a special ceremony held at The Watershed Institute.
May-June 2020: Collect samples solo (Tier 3).
o Volunteers who have become certified will hold that certification for one calendar year. To maintain their certification, they will need to take the online quizzes during the winter and the half-day refresher course every year.
**Important notes: The individual holds the “certification” to collect tier 3 data, not the organization. However, the individual needs to submit the data to QA officer before the data can be input into WQX. QA officer should also go through the STREAM volunteer training program and pass all tests.