In celebration of Water Quality Month, we met up with some Blackstone River water quality monitoring volunteers and visited a rain garden. Join us to learn more!

The Blackstone River Coalition and Water Quality Monitoring

The Blackstone River Coalition (BRC) has conducted a volunteer watershed-wide water quality monitoring program on the river’s main stem and tributaries since 2004. The goal is to help create a clean, ecologically healthy river and watershed.

BRC's primary objectives for achieving this goal are to:

  • generate a robust database of information that permits statistical analysis of long-term trends;
  • identify hot-spots and acute concerns in real-time;
  • promote science-based land-use planning at the local level by providing municipal leaders with monitoring results and;
  • empower a broad network of Blackstone River stewards who can advocate for watershed protection at the community level.

With the invaluable assistance of nearly 100 field and lab volunteers, the BRC currently tests 75 sites from Worcester, MA to Pawtucket., RI Once a month from April through November, field monitors measure temperature and depth, record aesthetic features including trash and erosion, conduct a test for dissolved oxygen, and collect a grab sample that is analyzed by lab volunteers for phosphates, nitrates, turbidity, and conductivity. The WQM program is divided into three teams – each with its own Field Coordinator: the Headwaters Team testing Worcester and surrounding towns, the Midreach Team testing from Upton to Blackstone, and the Rhode Island Team testing the northern part of the state from Burrillville to Woonsocket and down to Pawtucket.

If you are interested in joining the BRC’s volunteer WQM program, please contact Heather Parry, Program Coordinator, at [email protected].

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