Scantic River Partnership Seeks Volunteer Water Monitors
The Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Partnership (SRWMP) is a collaboration of Sierra Club Connecticut, the Scantic River Watershed Association (SRWA), the East Windsor American Heritage Rivers Commission (EWAHRC) and numerous other groups including the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the CT River Conservancy. Some sections of the Scantic River are labeled as "impaired" by DEEP, due to the presence of elevated bacterial levels, and long-term monitoring by the SRWA and the EWAHRC suggests that there are impairments in other sections of the watershed as well. At this time impairment sources can only be categorized as non-point source pollution, and additional monitoring will be beneficial to more fully understand the issue. In order to improve the quality of the Scantic and potentially de-list the river as an impaired waterway, the SRWMP is seeking additional support. Identification and possible future remediation of river pollution is costly, requires both volunteer water monitoring and scientific research, and will take time.
The collaboration is based on a long-term water monitoring program which was founded and is currently managed by USJ Associate Professor of Biology, Dr. Kirsten Martin. In 2019, Sierra Club Connecticut worked with Dr. Martin to bring together representatives from the various groups and agencies focused on Scantic River water quality issues. The resultant Scantic River Watershed Monitoring Partnership hopes to encourage institutional and volunteer support for Scantic River monitoring efforts. The SRWMP also hopes to advance community efforts to protect the river through education and outreach.
Although the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted many aspects of our lives, the Scantic River Water Monitoring Project has continued and volunteers are needed to expand the project. Individuals, school and community groups are welcome. An online training session will be scheduled for sometime this fall for those that are interested in potentially volunteering in the project.
Martha Klein is a member of the Sierra Club Connecticut Executive Committee, Communications Committee, and leader of our Beyond Gas Committee.
Photo: Scantic River, Linear Park, Bailey Road
Photo Credit: Suraj Prashad