Sunday, March 24, 2013

Save Our Streams Upcoming Orientation


Become a Certified Virginia
 “Save Our Streams” Monitor

The Smith Mountain Lake Association is again teaming up with the local Virginia Save Our Streams Program (VA SOS) and the Blue Ridge Foothills and Lakes (BRFAL) Chapter or the Virginia Master Naturalist Program to recruit individuals interested in water quality monitoring on small streams that eventually feed into the lake.  To learn more about this program, the next Orientation Session will be held Friday, April 26, 2013 from 9 AM to noon at the SMLA office.  

Weather permitting, the classroom session will be followed by an in-stream experience in the afternoon.

Volunteer monitors will be trained to collect and identify fresh water aquatic macroinvertebrates (critters) that live on the bottom of a stream (benthic area) on a quarterly basis.  Information on the diversity and number of critters found is used to determine the quality of water flowing through the stream and to monitor the quality over time.

Interested volunteers attend an orientation session designed to provide a basis for understanding water quality and how water quality is monitored.  This is followed by approximately three monitoring sessions in streams with certified trainers for hands-on experiences in leading to certification.  Data collected is entered into the VA SOS database and used by the State Department of Environmental Quality for their use in assessing the quality of Virginia's streams and rivers and identifying problems that need correction.

The VA SOS data from streams feeding into Smith Mountain Lake complements the SMLA/Ferrum College Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP) which has set the standard across the nation for a volunteer lake monitoring program over the past twenty six years. 

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a certified SOS monitor and/or the Orientation session, please contact De English at or by leaving a message with the SMLA office at (540) 719-0690.

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