Monday, April 11, 2011

18th Annual Secchi Dip-In Begins June 2

From LAKEWATCH announcement:

This is an invitation to participate in this year’s Secchi Dip-In, which runs from June 25 to July 17. This is the 18th year of the Dip-In, and the three week event in June and July demonstrates that volunteers can collect valuable water quality data. The Dip-In is a network of volunteer programs and volunteers, that together gather and provide continent-wide (and world-wide) information on water quality.
If you are a coordinator of an aquatic monitoring program that measures transparency, pH, or temperature of surface waters, would you please urge your volunteers to participate? Probably never in recent history has our environmental efforts been more under greater attack by special interests. The Dip-In won’t solve our environmental crisis, but it does provide reliable contemporary data on a continental scale on change in our waters to state and federal agencies and to researchers. We rely on existing programs because your volunteers are trained, providing assurance that the data are reliable. The Dip-In provides an event that coordinators of programs both large and small, can use to advertise their program and to explain to the public and to officials the importance of environmental monitoring.
We have a New Website Address. We now have a new website: . Volunteers can retrieve and edit the data they have entered and coordinators can retrieve and edit data from any waterbody in their program. If you want to be designated as a coordinator, please register and then send me an email. Volunteers also have the ability to personalize their waterbody site by adding pictures. A satellite map and graphs of data for each waterbody is now available.
Presence on Facebook: We have a Secchi Dip-In site on Facebook as well. We have posted a number of photos of volunteers, Secchi disks, turbidity tubes and even data graphs on the site. You are welcome to post announcements of your program. We would be happy to provide links to your program.
Trends in Transparency: Thanks to contributions from 2010 volunteers, we added another 200 lakes with 5 or more years of data, increasing our 5-Year Club to over 2,000 waterbodies. Five years or more of submissions is critical because it takes a minimum of 5 years of data in order to make reliable statements about trends.
In an era of increasing urbanization, it is not a trivial exercise to examine whether urbanization or other disturbances are affecting our waterbodies. We have found that some waterbodies having decreasing transparency are next door to ones that may be improving in transparency, suggesting that changes are a local phenomenon. At the same time some regions of the continent are indicating considerable change, while others have few lake that are changing, indicating a regional effect as well.
We urge you to consider participating this year. Better yet, urge your volunteers to participate. We all can gain from the experience.
Dip-In Site:
Facebook Site:

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