Water Quality Monitoring
FOUR TIMES A YEAR MWA River Watchers check the health of the stream by monitoring water quality at four locations on the Musconetcong River: at Willow Street in the Port Morris section of Roxbury Twp, in Hackettstown on Route 57, in Point Mountain Preserve, and off of Mt. Joy Road in Finesville. For a map of sites where we collect data click here.
The MWA River Watchers measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, acidity (pH), and nitrate levels at each site. Volunteers also assess water and habitat quality by collecting aquatic insects, mollusks, and crustaceans that inhabit the stream bottom. These tiny organisms, called benthic macroinvertebrates, form the bottom of the food chain in streams and are sensitive to changes in their environment. When streams are clean and have good habitat, there is a rich diversity of these organisms living there.
The MWA uses the River Watcher data to develop information that helps us
- Insure that water quality in the Musconetcong River remains suitable for recreational uses such as fishing, swimming, and boating
- Advocate for the river when proposed projects threaten the health of the Musconetcong River and its tributaries
- Observe how stream restoration projects such as stream bank stabilization, riparian restoration and dam removals improve the river habitat
- Track how preservation of land, improved development controls, and pollution prevention programs all help keep the river ecosystem healthy
Do you want to find out more about becoming a River Watcher volunteer? Click here to find out more about this year's training sessions and contact information.