Our Save our Streams (SOS) program will hold a spring workshop for new volunteers on Saturday, March 4th. The SOS team monitors sixteen streams in the SML Watershed twice each year, on both the Bedford and the Franklin County sides of the Lake. Initial training includes a classroom session, which will be held at the SMLA offices on Scruggs Road, from 9.30 to 11.30 a.m., followed by a stream session at the Booker T. Washington National Monument, from 1 to 3 p.m. Those completing the initial training will be assigned to teams for the spring testing season. For more information or to register for the workshop, contact SML Area Coordinator Geoff Orth at email@example.com.
The Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) teams up with two other organizations—the Virginia Save Our Streams Program and the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program to conduct water quality monitoring on key streams flowing into the lake. Twice a year, certified volunteer monitors, also knowns as citizen scientists, collect and identify fresh water aquatic macroinvertebrates, the critters that live on the bottom of a stream.
Orientation sessions for new volunteers are held at least once a year. 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.
The data collected is entered into the Virginia SOS database and used by the State Department of Environmental Quality in assessing the overall quality of Virginia’s streams and rivers and used to identify deficiencies that may need to be addressed. The SOS data from streams feeding into Smith Mountain Lake complements the nationally recognized SMLA/Ferrum College Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP).
Join us and make a difference!
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 followed by in-stream monitoring sessions collecting and identifying fresh water aquatic macroinvertebrates with nationally accredited trainers leading to certification.
To learn more about becoming a certified SOS monitor should contact the SOS Area Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a message with the SMLA office at (540) 719-0690.
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