April 1, 2014

Riverwatch plans area workshops

From staff reports

---- — Hoosier Riverwatch, an Indiana Department of Environmental Management education program, is hosting a series of workshops around the state to train people to monitor local streams and rivers.

“Besides teaching people the basics of stream monitoring, Hoosier Riverwatch workshops foster an understanding and appreciation for conservation,” said Thomas Easterly, IDEM commissioner. “For many volunteers, helping with stream monitoring fulfills a lifelong passion for the outdoors. Participating in Hoosier Riverwatch is a great way to learn and help protect our water for future generations.”

The following area workshops are scheduled:

• 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 23 at Peru Wastewater Treatment Plant.

• 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 28 at Peru Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The one-day workshops will provide general education in water-quality issues and hands-on training in monitoring the health of rivers and streams through physical, chemical and biological testing. Upon completion of the training, volunteers will be ready to perform stream testing for a wide variety of possible pollutants. They will then submit their data to a statewide volunteer monitoring database which is available for the public to see.

Hoosier Riverwatch is a statewide education program that focuses on local river stream stewardship. To date, nearly 5,000 people have participated in Hoosier Riverwatch. Hundreds of youth and adult organizations, including watershed and river protection groups, churches, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, municipalities, and schools, monitor their local water quality each year.

“The training is for everyone interested in learning about water quality and gaining hands-on experience in monitoring rivers and streams, “ said Lisa Ritter-McMahan, Hoosier Riverwatch Coordinator. “People interested in the environment, including educators, are invited to attend.”

More information, including a complete 2014 workshop schedule, as well as monitoring locations and data collected by program graduates, is posted at Training is free for volunteers, but class size is limited. A reservation is required to attend. The public can direct questions to Hoosier Riverwatch at 317-308-3203 or