StreamWatch is the Rivanna Watershed’s local stream monitoring volunteer program. We engage citizen volunteers to help us collect data, we work with science experts to help us analyze our data and convert it to understandable information, and we present our findings to planners, managers, elected decision-makers, and, via the media, the general public. Through this inclusive and comprehensive process, we help facilitate community consensus on the status of our streams and rivers. We believe that when diverse sectors of the community share fundamental agreement on the condition of the resource, the chances of sound, collaborative management are enhanced.
Stream monitoring is a key component of successful stewardship of the watershed because responsive management requires the environmental feedback (the data) that monitoring supplies. Government agencies don’t have sufficient resources to monitor as comprehensively as needed, and “official” resource managers are increasingly turning to volunteer monitors to help fill data gaps.