Stream Quality Monitoring

NW OHIO SCENIC RIVERS


Introductory Newsletter

 
Hello and welcome all. My name is Kevin Nemer and I am the new stream quality monitor (SQM)  coordinator for NW Ohio’s Scenic Rivers program, and am excited to be working with all of you. A little bit about  myself, I have been with the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves since 2017 when I finished my  undergraduate at Lourdes University with a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science and a Chemistry minor. I love the outdoors, camping, backpacking, fishing, mountain biking and traveling. My passion in land  management, conservation, and learning has driven my career in this field. My very first step into the natural  resources world was doing weekly volunteer macroinvertebrate monitoring at a vernal pool for The Olander  Parks System in Sylvania Ohio in 2016, I always had a fun time doing that and learned a ton of new information.  Now as acting SQM coordinator for NW Ohio I am able to share that same experience with other people who  have similar interest and also want to get out and have some fun. 


The Ohio Scenic River program has been around since 1968, it has been in place longer than our National  Scenic Rivers Act and Clean Water Act. Established to bring attention to Ohio rivers and streams loss of  biodiversity due to pollution. Ohio has 15 rivers designated as scenic, here in northwest Ohio this includes the  Maumee and Sandusky River. The presence or absence of certain macroinvertebrates (you may just think of  them as water bugs) in a river or stream can be good indicators of a systems health and well being. While some  macroinvertebrates are highly resistant to pollution others are not at all, and by sampling spots along these  rivers we are able to assign a number score that determines the condition of the river. 


This next part is where you come in. 


Along the Sandusky and Maumee Rivers there are a total of 15 monitoring sites that must surveyed at  least 3 times a year (Spring, Summer, and Fall). Through volunteer training you can become a volunteer Stream  Quality Monitor (SQM) and help monitor and improve river quality here in NW Ohio. Without your help  gathering this data across the state on so many sites would not be possible. To Help you do this I will be  providing you learning workshops (in person or online) to go over sampling and collecting methods as well as  macroinvertebrate identification, so you will have the confidence to identify these organisms yourself. With  your newly learned skills you will also be given sampling materials and documents so you will be able to go out  to the sites and start collecting and identifying right on site. 


What’s Next 


What do you do next? Next, we setup up a training. To setup a training workshop please contact me Kevin Nemer at Kevin.Nemer@dnr.ohio.gov , after your trained and get some hands-on time in the field  practicing your skills you will be ready to start collecting data and filling out data collection sheets on the macroinvertebrates that you sample as well as some other data. Feel free to contact me with any questions  and many thanks for your help.
 

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