**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>

Preserving and restoring water quality protects the public from waterborne illness when recreating (swimming, wading, surfing…) continues to be a topic of importance to communities nationwide. Citizen Science offers great opportunities for collaborative monitoring projects focused on recreational water quality monitoring and enhanced stewardship at local levels. Chaired by Ibrahim Goodwin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the session will feature four citizen science presentations featuring perspectives and programs from across the nation.  

Citizen science offers communities the chance to “share the economy” when it comes to water quality watershed management. Through citizen science projects, crowdsourcing, and strategic partnerships, useful data sets can be created through the efforts of many. Ensuring that data collected has value toward understanding real environmental conditions and identifying pollution sources, empowers management decisions, and is scientifically objective must be of primary importance for monitoring programs interested in producing actionable data.

 

Presentations will provide beach managers with examples of citizen science collaborations with state and local governments to stretch limited agency resources to expand the coverage and prioritize the focus of beach programs and to generate the local impetus to address and fix sources of pollution.

 

Keeping it Real: Creating and Managing Citizen Monitoring Programs for the Collection of Actionable Data Concerning Contact Recreation Water Quality Standards and Watershed Management   

Erick Burres, California State Water Resources Control Board -Clean Water Team

 

The Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force: Citizen Science Applied to Enhance the Coverage and Effectiveness of State and Local Beach Programs

Mara Dias, Surfrider Foundation

 

How’s the Water? Using Community Science to Measure Fecal Indicator Bacteria and Improve Water Quality in the Hudson River Watershed

Dan Shapley, Riverkeeper

 

Leveraging Volunteer Hours for Water Quality Restoration

Michael Meyer, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

 

Our MS4 Permit—Reframing the Permit’s Ownership through Citizen Science

Jennifer McDonnell, Arlington County Department of Environmental Services