Chesterton Tribune



Become a volunteer Hoosier river health monitor; attend workshops October 3 or 8

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The Northwest Indiana Partnership for Clean Water will be hosting two Hoosier Riverwatch workshops this fall in the region, to give volunteers hands-on experience in evaluating water chemistry, habitat and aquatic macroinvertebrates to help measure a stream’s health.

Hoosier Riverwatch is a statewide volunteer stream monitoring program coordinated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, whose mission is to promote active public stewardship of the state’s rivers and streams through watershed education and monitoring.

Volunteers will also learn in the workshops how land use can impact water quality and how to submit monitoring information to the on-line Hoosier Riverwatch database. Upon completing the workshop, volunteers are eligible to borrow “loaner trunks” from various locations throughout the state. These trunks contain the same supplies they learned to use during the workshop.

Workshop dates and locations:

* 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Hobart Community Center, 111 E. Old Ridge Road in Hobart.

* 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, at the Plum Creek Center in Elmer Miller Park, 222 Schulte St. in Dyer.

“In addition to these workshops, we will be working with a number of local communities to establish a network of volunteer stream monitoring sites” said Joe Exl, senior water resource planner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. “Where to monitor is one of the most common questions I receive as a volunteer instructor.”

With recent enhancements to the Hoosier Riverwatch database, including an interactive mapping feature and data explorer tools, volunteers and the general public can see what sites or information is available for nearby streams, Exl added. “I think the network will probably start with just a handful of sites at first but will eventually grow over time.”

There is no cost to attend the workshops but registration is required. Volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather and bring a lunch. Those wanting to get in the stream should bring along waders or old closed-toe tennis shoes.

To register for one of these workshops please contact Joe Exl via email at or phone (219) 763-6060 x137.

Attendees must be at least 18 years of age.



Posted 9/26/2013