The Northwest Indiana Partnership for Clean Water has announced they will be hosting two Hoosier Riverwatch workshops this fall in the region in the hopes of getting the public involved in becoming active stewards of our rivers and streams through watershed education and monitoring. Hoosier Riverwatch is a statewide volunteer stream monitoring program coordinated by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Volunteers who attend these workshops will gain hands-on experience in evaluating water chemistry, habitat and aquatic macroinvertebrates to help measure a stream’s health. Volunteers will also learn how land use can impact water quality and how to submit their monitoring information to the on-line Hoosier Riverwatch database. Upon completing the workshop, volunteers are eligible to borrow “loaner trunks” from various locations throughout the state. These trunks contain the same supplies they learned to use during the workshop.
Joe Exl, senior water resource planner with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, said they will also be working with a number of local communities to establish a network of volunteer stream monitoring sites. With recent enhancements to the Hoosier Riverwatch database, including an interactive mapping feature and data explorer tools, volunteers and the general public can see what sites or information is available for nearby streams.
The first workshop will take place Thursday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT at the Hobart Community Center at 111 E. Old Ridge Rd. The second will be Friday, Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT at the Plum Creek Center in Elmer Miller Park, located at 222 Schulte St. in Dyer.
There is no cost to attend the workshops, but registration is required. Volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather and bring a lunch. Those wanting to get in the stream should bring along waders or old closed-toe tennis shoes. To register for one of these workshops please contact Joe Exl via email at email@example.com or by phone at (219) 763-6060 x137. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.