2019 Sampling (the 35th Year of the Mad River Watch Program) is Complete!
Friends has been monitoring water quality in the Mad River since 1985 and has the longest continuous volunteer water quality monitoring dataset in the country. Every summer, volunteers collect water samples dozens of sites on the Mad River and its tributaries. Analysis includes water temperature, E. coli bacteria levels, total phosphorus and total nitrogen. MRW E. coli samples are analyzed "in-house" and results are published in the Valley Reporter, Facebook and the FMR website and also displayed on FMR signs at ten popular swim holes weekly. Nutrient data are available online at the end of the season when we receive the results from the Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory (VAEL).
The Mad River Watch Program is a water quality monitoring, improvement, and protection program for the Mad River and its tributaries sponsored by the Friends of the Mad River. The program involves community participants in collecting high quality information on the physical, chemical, and biological indicators of water quality. The overall goal of the MRWP is to restore and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the Mad River system by identifying and addressing water quality problems that affect the health and human use of the river ecosystem. Other goals include:
- To build public support for clean water
- To establish and maintain a long-term valley wide information base to help us evaluate the long-term health of the river and to take actions to improve and maintain it.
- To provide an enriching educational and practical experience for junior and senior high school students which integrates and applies several sciences and social studies.
- To increase public awareness of the connection between land use and water quality.
Photos by Kinny Perot, Corrie Miller