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About Save Our Streams
Collecting data on the streams that feed the lake
About Save Our Streams at SMLA

SAVE OUR STREAMS

The Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) teams up with the local Virginia Save Our Streams Program (VA SOS) and the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes (BRFAL) Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program to recruit individuals interested in water quality monitoring on small streams that eventually feed into the lake. Orientation sessions are scheduled based on interest.

Volunteer monitors are trained to collect and identify fresh water aquatic macroinvertebrates (critters) that live on the bottom of a stream (benthic area) on a quarterly basis.  Information on the number and diversity of critters found is used to determine the quality of water flowing through the stream at a given point in time and is tracked for trends in the water quality over time.

Interested volunteers attend an orientation session designed to provide a basis for understanding water quality and how water quality is monitored.  This is then followed by approximately three monitoring sessions in streams with certified trainers for hands-on experiences leading to certification. 

Data collected is entered into the VA SOS database and used by the State Department of Environmental Quality in assessing the quality of Virginia's streams and rivers and identifying problems that need correction.  The VA SOS data from streams feeding into Smith Mountain Lake complements the SMLA/Ferrum College Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP) which has set the standard across the nation for a volunteer lake monitoring program over the past twenty-seven years. 

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a certified SOS monitor and/or the Orientation session, please leave a message with the SMLA office and one of our volunteers will follow-up with you.

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Save Our Streams Volunteers
Join us and make a difference!
Volunteers at SMLA's Save Our Streams The Smith Mountain Lake Association in collaboration with the local Virginia Save Our Streams Program (VA SOS) and the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes (BRFAL) Chapter or the Virginia Master Naturalist Program recruits individuals interested in water quality monitoring in small streams that eventually feed into the lake.
Certified volunteer monitors (“citizen scientists”) collect and identify fresh water aquatic macroinvertebrates (critters) that live on the bottom of a stream (benthic area) on a quarterly basis. Information on the diversity and number of critters found is used to determine the quality of water flowing through the streams and to monitor the quality over time. Data collected is entered into the VA SOS database and used by the State Department of Environmental Quality in assessing the overall quality of Virginia's streams and rivers. Data is used to identify specific problems that may need to be addressed. The VA SOS data from streams feeding into Smith Mountain Lake complements the SMLA/Ferrum College Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP) which has set the standard across the nation for a volunteer lake monitoring program for nearly thirty years.
Individuals interested learning becoming certified Save Our Streams monitors attend an Orientation session designed to provide a basis for understanding water quality and how water quality is monitored. This is then followed by approximately three in-stream monitoring sessions with certified trainers for hands-on experiences leading to certification. Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a certified SOS monitor should contact De English at de.english100@gmail.com or Geoff Orth at gcorth01@gmail.com or by leaving a message with the SMLA office at (540) 719-0690. The date for the next Orientation session will be announced in the near future, but will be held in Spring 2016.
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Save Our Streams: Reports
Results that matter
Reports on Save Our Streams at SMLA

Summary 2015 SOS Data

Of the 21 stream sites monitored for ecological conditions:
  • 14 sites (67%)had acceptable scores between 9-12 compared with 13 sites in 2014
  • 4 sites (19%) were classified in the gray zone with a score of 8 –ecological conditions could not be determined compared with 3 sites in 2014
  • 3 sites (14%) had unacceptable ecological scores between 0 –7 compared with 2 sites in 2014


Click on the link below to download a report.
Adobe Acrobat is required to read these documents.

Download 2015 Save Our Streams Briefing
Download 2014 Save Our Streams Briefing
Download 2013 Save Our Streams Briefing

 

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Water Safety Council Education Programs
Know safety!
Education at Water Safety Council

Virginia law requires that all operators ages 14 and older of a personal watercraft (PWC - jet ski/seadoo) must receive training either in the form of a boaters' safety course or via a PWC rental provider.  All operators of a boat must also have this training. For more information on this training please click the VDGIF website.
https://www.boat-ed.com/virginia/boating_law.html

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