Water Quality Volunteers Needed to Monitor Casco Bay
Join the hundreds of volunteers in our community who have become “citizen scientists” to monitor water quality at one of 40 sites around the rim of Casco Bay. No prior training or experience is necessary.
Training for new Water Quality Monitors is set for Saturday, April 12. A five-hour training session, a hands-on introduction to EPA-certified sampling methods, will be held at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland on April 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please register in advance by contacting Peter Milholland, Citizen Stewards Coordinator, at pmilholland [at] cascobay [dot] org or (207) 799-8574.
You will learn to test for dissolved oxygen, a measure of how much oxygen is available to marine life, as well as water temperature, salinity, water clarity, and pH. Volunteers work in teams to monitor at 7 a.m. and at 3 p.m. on ten selected Saturdays from April through October. Volunteers must be 16 or older, although parents and children may work together.
Peter Milholland says, “These citizen scientists are a critical part of our research staff. Without our volunteers we could never have achieved the level of knowledge about Casco Bay that we have today. Nearly 700 volunteer water quality monitors have been trained over the past 22 years to help Friends of Casco Bay collect data on Casco Bay, as part of its mission to improve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay through advocacy, research, education, and collaborative partnerships.
Citizen Stewards Water Quality Monitoring Program
Supplementing the sampling and research work done by our staff, our volunteers collect baseline data on salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, water clarity and nutrients. Together, our staff and volunteers have collected nearly 250,000 water quality measurements since 1992, making our data set one of the most comprehensive and reliable in Maine. This data is critical as Friends of Casco Bay works with businesses, municipalities, and decision-makers around the Bay to find effective ways to curb pollution.
To learn more about our read our Water Quality Monitoring Program Report.
Join Our Team!
Interested in joining the ranks of our volunteers who sample water quality at sites around the Bay? Volunteers are trained in rigorous EPA-approved sampling methods and collect samples twice per day on 10 selected Saturdays. To get involved, fill out our volunteer application. Peter Milholland, our volunteer coordinator, will contact you after reviewing your application. Peter can be reached at pmilholland [at] cascobay [dot] org or 207-799-8574 ext. 207.Fill out our volunteer application
What are our volunteers like? Each year, we recognize those Citizen Stewards who have reached 15-year, 10-year, and 5-year milestones in water quality monitoring. Read bios of our most recent award winners.
Video About Our Monitoring Work:
Learn more about our Water Quality Monitoring work and our efforts to monitor marine invasive species in Casco Bay.
More About our Water Quality Work
- Toxic sediment: Friends of Casco Bay has detected toxic chemicals in the sediment around Portland Harbor. Read the report here.
- How healthy is the Bay?: Read “Making the Grade: The Casco Bay Health Index”
Help Support our Water Quality Monitoring Program
Your donation will support our staff and volunteers’ work to sample water quality around the Bay. Donate here and choose “Citizen Stewards Water Quality Monitoring Fund” in the designation box. Thank you!