Citizen Stewards Water Quality Monitoring Program

Citizen Stewards Water Quality Monitoring Program

Citizen Stewards David Brenneman and Lauren Leclerc (Photo by Kevin Morris)

Citizen Stewards David Brenneman and Lauren Leclerc (Photo by Kevin Morris)

Each year, dozens of volunteers collect data on water quality in Casco Bay. Trained in EPA-approved techniques, these Citizen Stewards work in teams to share the monitoring at one of 40 shoreside sites at 7 a.m. and at 3 p.m. on ten selected Saturdays from April through October.

Supplementing the sampling and research work done by our staff, our volunteers collect baseline data on dissolved oxygen, a measure of how much oxygen is available to marine life, as well as water temperature, salinity, water clarity, and pH. 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.

The data collected by our Citizen Stewards is used to create our Casco Bay Health Index, an easy-to-interpret, visual guide to the health of the Bay. The Index allows us to integrate data from selected water quality parameters into a single value to compare and rank each site as Good, Fair, or Poor. Learn more about the Health Index here:


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. If you have any questions, please call our office at (207) 799-8574.

Fill out our volunteer application

What are our volunteers like? Each year, we recognize those Citizen Stewards who have reached milestones in water quality monitoring for 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service. See our most recent awardees here:


Video About Our Monitoring Work:

Learn more about our Water Quality Monitoring work  and our efforts to improve and protect Casco Bay.

To learn more about our read our Water Quality Monitoring Program Report.


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!