Water Quality Monitoring

FSU volunteer testing water samples

Testing and monitoring water is a key tool in our ongoing stewardship of the Apalachicola River Basin. It is also a public health tool. Currently, monthly water samples are collected on the Apalachicola River by staff and citizen-science volunteers near Chattahoochee, Bristol, Blountstown and Wewahitchka. Parameters include dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and connectivity. Bacteria testing is also conducted. In partnership with Chipola College, water quality monitoring has recently begun on the Chipola River.Episodic water sampling also occurs during visual surveys.

Additionally, water quality monitoring is part of AR’s Slough Restoration Project (SRP) with monitoring stations collecting on-going data on East River, Spiders Cut and Douglas Slough. In collaboration with the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, a monitoring station was also installed at Butcher’s Pen. Parameters include water level, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and connectivity. At slough sites, monthly “water grab” samples check nutrient, nitrogen and phosphorus levels. This is done University of Florida SRP team members.

Chipola College student reading nitrate test

Water sampling, a tool for pollution monitoring, is a cornerstone to many waterkeeper organizations worldwide. Apalachicola Riverkeeper is a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Related, Waterkeepers Florida works collaboratively on statewide issues of water quality and water policy. WF is committed to working together to stop pollution at its source.

volunteer prepping slides for bacteria testing

Citizen-science volunteers also conduct microplastics sampling quarterly at a dredge spoil mound along the lower Apalachicola River. This project is overseen by board member Dr. Lynn Wilder. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve launched microplastics sampling in the region with numerous shoreline site.

Apalachicola Riverkeeper (AR) embarked on a water quality monitoring program in 2019 with a grant from from the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation. The program has been supported by other foundation partners including Archibald, Ben & Jerry’s, the Jelks Family, the Moody Family, Turner, REI, and Patagonia.

More on volunteer opportunities, including water quality monitoring, at Apalachicola Riverkeeper.

volunteer water testing in Chattahoochee
Lynn Wilder reading plastic samples at ANERR
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