URI Watershed Watch

Water Quality Program – College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Welcome to URI Watershed Watch

Please update your calendar with our NEW DATE for our 30th anniversary celebration. Change your calendar now and please join us on Sunday, NOVEMBER 5th from 4 – 7 pm in Kingston to socialize with and honor current and past volunteers, sponsors, student staff and friends of the program. Click here for more details – and keep an eye on this site as more information and registration details become available. Please share this flyer with anyone who might be interested in attending – the public is welcome and encouraged to participate.

The wet and warm weather is bringing harmful algal blooms to many of our local waters. We work with the RI Departments of Health and Environmental Management to share advisories when blooms are confirmed. Check out our page on Cyanobacteria (Algal Blooms) to stay up to date and for information on how you can help track cyanoblooms (most recent advisory posted was 9/1/17).

Monitoring schedules for the 2017 season can be found by clicking here, ALL of our sites should now have equipment and to have begun monitoring. Please call or email us to let us know if you have to schedule a drop off date different from that scheduled (in advance please so we can be sure to have your replacement bottles ready (and remember – we aren’t in on most weekends other than the scheduled water collections).

The URI Watershed Watch (URIWW) is a volunteer water quality monitoring program that works with local communities to assess water quality, identify sources of pollution in water and provide information about water leading to more effective management of critical water resources. Led by trained scientists, URI Watershed Watch helps local governments, watershed, tribal and other organizations recruit and train volunteers to become citizen scientists gathering detailed, quality assured monitoring data. Our comprehensive watershed-based program focuses on long-term environmental monitoring of RI’s fresh and salt water resources including lakes, ponds, streams and coastal waters. We provide training, equipment, supplies and analytical services tailored to organizational needs, while meeting strict quality assurance and quality control guidelines in the field and in our state-certified water testing laboratory. Click here to learn more!

Brush up or maintain your Secchi disk reading skills at the Maine Secchi Disk Simulator: http://www.mainevlmp.org/secchi-simulator/. This great tool allows you to lower a disk on your computer screen – and even tells you when you’ve got it right! Great for learning, and for keeping your skills sharp throughout the season!

Help Brown University find and track marine jellyfish (both where they are and aren’t by letting them know what you see when you take a walk around or a spin on the bay or even a salt pond. This is especially important since a new invasive species (clinging jellyfish) has been spotted in RI waters. Click here to learn more about reporting whether you see any or not. Here is the field guide to help you identify local jellyfish.

With all this rain, we may expect to see harmful algal blooms. To learn more about them and how you can track them, see our page on HABs.

Getting Involved

No prior experience is needed to become a URI Watershed Watch citizen scientist – just an interest in making a difference by monitoring water! Our citizen scientists get to go out on their favorite lake, pond, stream or bay to gather information on water about once a week at mid-day from May through October. Monitoring teams are encouraged, and actively recruited to help share the work. Click here for more information about getting involved with environmental monitoring.

Bathymetric Maps of Some RI Ponds


Next scheduled 2017 water collections:

Sampling Yawgoo Pond
Sampling Yawgoo Pond

Important – click here for directions to the URI WW lab during construction!!

  • Blue Water Task Force: August 26th
  • Bristol & Tiverton Harbors: September 7th
  • Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH)
    • Stonington & Wequet.: August 26th
    • Mystic, Pequot, Whitford: Saturday,  August 26th
  • Greenwich Bay: August 24th – 26th
  • Lakes, ponds & reservoirs: September 22nd – 23rd for deep lakes (shallow lakes optional) 
  • Napatree Point: August 24th – 26th
  • Rivers & Streams (including Narrow River): August 25th – 26th
  • Salt Pond Watchers: August 23rd
  • Warren Harbor: August 28th (new date)

Complete 2017 monitoring schedules are available here.

Remember, our building is ONLY accessible from Flagg Rd now due to construction. Here are directions.

Call 401-874-2905 or 401-874-4552 to make arrangements for dropping off samples or with questions regarding parking, etc. Please use 874-2905 on water collection days (we will be in the lab on those days and that’s the best number to reach us by).

Think Big We Do

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