May 19, 2019

Seeking citizen scientists for road salt study

If you harbor a passion for protecting local water quality and are seeking a related volunteer opportunity, the Winooski Natural Resource Conservation District’s has a new citizen water sampling program to consider.

Tons of salt are applied to roads in Vermont every winter, having a negative impact on water resources due to elevated amounts of sodium chloride.

Excessive sodium chloride reduces fish spawning, degrades instream habitat, encourages establishment of invasive species and harms sensitive, native species. An increase in chloride levels also shifts algal species dominance from green algae to cyanobacteria, which could exacerbate toxic algal blooms.

The WNRCD’s monitoring project will sample Alder, Indian, and Sunderland brooks to determine if efforts by local municipalities to reduce road salt application over the past 10 years has had its intended effect of reducing sodium chloride.

Samplings are needed on Sundays from June 4 – Oct. 15, and volunteers will be asked to commit to at least one month of samplings.

Contact holly@winooskinrcd.org or call 802-288-8155 ext. 104 for more information or to volunteer.

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