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Blackstone Headwaters Coalition     

       In September of 1999, the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Worcester and the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition established the Blackstone Headwaters Monitoring Team (BHMT). This team established a volunteer sampling program designed to train a team of citizen volunteers to collect data regarding surface water quality on a regular basis from a large number of key sampling points throughout the Blackstone River headwaters region. Their goals were as follows:

1) To collect quality data to provide useful information on average concentrations and temporal variability in concentrations of water quality parameters that have been determined to seriously affect the health of streams in the region.

2) To screen for pollution " hot spots" and problem areas and to improve the volume of data used by local and state water management agencies to make more informed management decisions.

3) To increase citizen involvement and stewardship within the headwaters area and throughout the Blackstone River watershed.

     In 2002 the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition teamed up with the Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA) and the Blackstone River Watershed Council (BRWC) to expand volunteer monitoring efforts to cover the entire Blackstone Watershed. The BHC, the BRWA, the BRWC in partnership with Mass Audubon of Worcester and the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor formed a subset of the Blackstone River Coalition to create this volunteer water quality monitoring program. 

 

     By expanding the monitoring program across state boundaries, the BRC hopes to bring local and state water management agencies in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island together to ensure a unified effort to improve the water quality and health of the Blackstone River and its tributaries. In addition to the goals mentioned above, the BRC would like to see the Blackstone River improve so that it meets the water quality standards for a class B river throughout its length, making it Fishable and Swimmable by 2015

 

     The graphs on the following pages represent data collected by volunteers throughout the years of 2003 and 2004. The parameters monitored by volunteers include PH, Dissolved Oxygen, Oxygen Saturation, Nitrates and Ortho Phosphates. Each of these parameters has been deemed important with regards to sustaining aquatic species and providing an ambient environment for the survival and reproductive activities of these species. These parameters are also important parameters to examine in regards to the effects that water quality may have on human health.

 

If you or anyone else that you know would like to become a member of the Blackstone Watershed Monitoring team contact Peter Coffin at:

Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, 

PO Box 70688   Quinsig Village 

(508) 753-6087     

coffin@wisp.net