URI Watershed Watch

Water Quality Program – College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Welcome to URI Watershed Watch

It may be fall, but harmful algal blooms can still happen. In See our Harmful Algal Blooms page for more information. Check out cyanos.org to download a new app to photograph and report suspected harmful algal blooms using your smart phone!! Also, algal blooms can occur in in fresh AND salt waters. In fact we’ve been experiencing an unusual algal bloom along RI’s coast recently – a rust-colored bloom that can be harmful to fish, but usually isn’t harmful to people. RI DEM has just released a new fact sheet (click here for that).

Recent Monitoring Data - Bacteria Results (Last updated 10/20/16)

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.mainelakedata.org/recertify/. 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.

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 2016 water collections:

14 V lowering deep sampler

  • Salt Pond Watchers: Wednesday, October 19th
  • Clean Up Sound and Harbors:
    • Wednesday Sites – October 19th
    • Saturday Sites – October 22nd
  • Blue Water Task Force: Weekend of October 22nd
  • Rivers, streams, marine sites:  Thursday, October 20th – Saturday, October 22nd
  • South County Coastkeeper Sites: Wednesday, October 19th
  • East Bay Coastal Sites:
    • Save Bristol Harbor Sites – Thursday, September 29th
    • Tiverton Harbor Commission Sites – Thursday, September 29th
    • Warren Harbor Sites – Sunday, October 16th
  • Lakes, ponds, reservoirs:
    Thursday, October 20th – Saturday, October 22nd

Complete 2016 monitoring schedules are available (click here).

Remember, for most of our sites this will be THE FINAL WATER COLLECTION of 2016, so please bring your monitoring equipment in too – we need to clean, calibrate and re-stock for you next year.

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).

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