Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators

The 2016 WAVE training sessions are open for registration.

waterDEC is recruiting participants for the 2016 summer sampling season to conduct water quality assessments in streams and rivers as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project.

WAVE data are used to augment the work of the DEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit, which samples streams and rivers across the state to create an inventory of stream water quality. Citizen monitors will provide valuable information to assist in identifying healthy stream sites and flagging sites that potentially have water quality concerns. These data are included in federal and state water quality reports and help to target professional assessments and local restoration or conservation efforts to where they are most needed.

Citizen monitors visit stream sites once per year, anytime between July and September, and collect macroinvertebrates – insects and other small organisms – from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom. If six or more of the “Most Wanted” organisms are found, the stream segment is unimpaired and fully supports aquatic life. If mostly “Least Wanted” organisms are found, then the stream segment is flagged for possible investigation by professionals.

Citizen monitors can participate in the WAVE project in one of three ways. They can:

  1. Serve as local coordinators who coach and coordinate their own team of WAVE participants. Local coordinators must attend a full day training to participate.
  2. Sample independently. Independent samplers must also attend a full day training to participate.
  3. Join a local team lead by a WAVE local coordinator. No training is required for this option.

The WAVE training sessions are rotated throughout the state’s 17 major drainage basins on a five year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by the DEC Stream Biomonitoring Unit in the following year (see the professional monitoring schedule: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/29576.html). This year, WAVE training sessions are being offered in the Chemung River, Black River, and Lower Hudson River basins.

WAVE training sessions are scheduled for late April – early June at the following locations:

  • Friday, April 29, 9am-4pm, Millbrook NY (Dutchess County)
  • Monday, May 9, 9am-4pm, Delmar NY (Albany County)
  • Tuesday, May 10, 9am-4pm, Raquette Lake NY (Hamilton County)
  • Friday, May 13, 9am-4pm, Montebello NY (Rockland County)
  • Thursday, May 19, 9am-4pm, Alfred NY (Allegany County)
  • Friday, May 20, 9am-4pm, Lowville NY (Lewis County)
  • Friday, June 3, 9am-4pm, Elmira NY (Chemung County)

To register for a training session or for more information , contact the DEC WAVE Coordinator Alene Onion by email at wave@dec.ny.gov.

This information is being provided for informational purposes and is not sponsored nor specifically endorsed by CDRPC.