Every month thirty volunteers go out before 8AM to collect water quality samples from all over the Mystic River Watershed. No matter the weather—rain or shine, sleet or snow—the volunteers are testing our water quality. The staff at MyRWA are amazed at the dedication and perseverance of these generous citizen science activists. They do this because the data they collect makes a difference.
For the past two years, the Mystic River Watershed Association has published a stream-by-stream Mystic Water Quality Report Card with the US Environmental Protection Agency. Both years, publishing the Report Card led almost immediately to an editorial in the Boston Globe, our region’s most important paper, calling for cities and towns to invest in large scale infrastructure improvements to polluting pipes. Beyond this—the data has resulted in seven municipalities making improvements to their infrastructure to address water quality issues.
Over the past several years we have collected more than 10,000 water quality samples. Although a chunk of the hard field work is done by volunteers, this still costs money. There are expensive lab costs, materials, staff time spent in organizing the work and managing the data. In the baseline program alone, monitoring one of our 15 sites for a year costs $1,029.
So that’s our goal: Raise $3,087 to help pay for three baseline sites on #GivingTuesday. This is triple our original goal—thanks to the generous supporters who have already donated. Help us meet this new goal—as the pollution we detect and eliminate through our science and advocacy will make cleaner water for recreation and wildlife.