water

Euclid Creek Volunteer Monitoring Program

Program Purpose and Goals

The Euclid Creek Volunteer Monitoring Program started in 2005 as a partnership with Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus, Ohio EPA and John Carroll University. The mission of citizen monitoring is to produce valid environmental data, which is needed to aid in the assessment and protection of Ohio's watersheds and aquatic resources. Citizen monitoring will also inform and engage the community in effective watershed stewardship. In addition, citizen monitors build awareness of water quality issues, aquatic resources and pollution prevention.

Sampling is a very important aspect in identifying specific contaminants or problems in the watershed. The Euclid Creek Volunteer Monitoring Program (ECVMP) began collecting data in 2006 to characterize the basic water chemistry of the Euclid Creek Watershed sampling at five sites in the watershed on a monthly bases. The physical and chemical water quality parameters chosen for analysis/monitoring allow for seasonal watershed changes and track changes that occur in the watershed from year to year.

The core of the ECVMP is the monthly collection/analysis of water samples by trained citizens and students. The collected data is used for the purposes of public awareness and educational activities. Results are also used for early warning so that if alarming results are found at a site, it is reported to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) for follow up. Volunteer monitors are critical to the program by reporting issues like elevated sediment levels observed in the creek from upstream construction projects. Without these observations, important issues might not be caught in time to investigate the problem.

This website serves as a central repository for the data collected as part of the ECVMP and other water quality (chemical and biological) data collected from the Euclid Creek Watershed by local groups, schools and colleges (these need to be submitted by those groups to the Watershed Coordinator). ECVMP data will also be shared with the Euclid Creek Watershed Council, Friends of Euclid Creek, local schools and universities and local, regional and state agencies for general watershed assessment purposes. The data will be useful in providing information for watershed management and pollution prevention. Data will be made available to the public for the purposes of watershed education and to the regulatory and resource management agencies to supplement existing information.

Where Do We Monitor:
We monitor 5 sites throughout the watershed - click here to see all of the sites: Monitoring Locations Site Map

How Do I Sign Up to Become a Volunteer?

Becoming a volunteer water monitor is easy. No prior experience is required. You will receive training on water sampling and performing the physical and chemical analyses. Once you have been trained, you're ready to start collecting/monitoring. Make sure that you have read the important Volunteer Documents under the "Facts" tab above and then call Lou Rifici (see contact information below) to see what sites and days are available for monitoring, and to reserve a set of equipment. On that day, come to Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus (Tri-C East), get the equipment and take it to one of the five monitoring sites (See map and pictures in slideshow or view factsheets on each site under the "Facts" tab) in the watershed. Collect a water sample and analyze it for a number of parameters that will help to determine the water quality and health of the watershed. You will then return the water samples, the equipment, and a completed data sheet back to Tri-C East. The data you collected will be posted to the website and will be used by a number of agencies and groups for watershed management and pollution prevention.

If you or your group are interested in participating in the program to help us collect even more useful data, please contact the Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator.

**Schools should contact the Watershed Coordinator to provide data to include on the website (email cposius@cuyahogaswcd.org)

To Sign Up to Monitor a site, please contact either:
Claire Posius, Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator - Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District
6100 West Canal Road, Valley View, OH 44125
Phone: 216-524-6580 x16; E-mail: cposius@cuyahogaswcd.org

Lou Rifici, M.S., Assistant Professor, Environmental Scientist, Biologist - Environmental, Health and Safety Technology Program / Biology Department - Cuyahoga Community College
4250 Richmond Road, Highland Hills, OH 44122-6195, East Health Careers Technology Building - EHCT - 211H
Office Phone: 216-987-2097; Email: Louis.Rifici@tri-c.edu; http://instruct.tri-c.edu/lrifici

Funders
Thank you to the OSU Extension Watershed Team & CREES Great Lakes Regional Water Quality Program for funding to start the monitoring program in 2005 and to purchase our first set of monitoring equipment.

And thank you to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and Friends of Euclid Creek for funding the purchase of the second set of monitoring equipment and maintenance of the equipment through the Watershed Operating Support Grant.

Euclid Creek Volunteer Monitoring Program Advisory Committee:
Mary K. Evans, Volunteer Monitor
Mike Nichols, Chemistry Associate Professor, John Carroll
Kimberly Ochs, Biology Assistant Professor, Tri-C Eastern Campus
Sarah Preston, Chemistry Assistant Professor, Ursuline College
Claire Posius, Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator, Cuyahoga SWCD (Program Coordinator)
Lou Rifici, Environmental Scientist & Biology Assistant Professor, Tri-C Eastern Campus (Program Manager)
Michael Rowan, Biology Associate Professor, Tri-C Eastern Campus
Judy Santmire, Biology Assistant Professor, Notre Dame College
Bill Zawiski, Environmental Supervisor, Ohio EPA