There are many different ways you can help us engage, educate, and advocate to improve water quality in the Blackstone and its tributaries. Choose among these activities depending on your interests, abilities and the amount of time you can commit. These include:
- Invasive Species Controls: Our No Invasive Species Program (NIP) works to prevent the spread of non-native and exotic aquatic plants (such as water chestnut, fanwort, and milfoil) from taking over areas of the rivers and streams. If allowed to grow, these plants can make boating and fishing impossible in shallow water areas and they can permanently alter vital wildlife habitats. Opportunities include both one-time events (no long-term commitment) and continuing activities.
- Water Quality Monitoring: Learn and apply techniques for monitoring stream and river water quality, including temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, turbidity, and habitat assessment. Training takes place in March of each year, and water monitoring is done once a month from April through November. Volunteer activities exist in both sample collection and in laboratory analysis.
- Cleanups: Help us keep the watershed rivers enjoyable and useable by working a few hours with a team ridding a section of the river of trash. Volunteers are needed both to walk on shore and paddling a canoe. Each cleanup is a one-time event, generally in the fall, so there is no long-term commitment.
- Education: Explain to the public how their activities can affect the watershed, and what they can do as individuals to make that a positive impact. BRWA will train you in a specific area, and set up venues for your presentations. Current educational efforts include a demonstration on how a watershed works aimed at youth, and a "Coffee and Conservation" series for adults. Because of the training involved, we ask that you consider this a continuing activity, but time demands should be minimal.
- Outreach: Represent the watershed with town Conservation Committees and other entities. This involves building continuing relationships with government officials, and will include continuing responsibilities.
- Publicity: Work with our communications team by contributing posters, press releases, and articles on current events that impact the Blackstone to Blackstone Valley media and our monthly BRWA newsletter.
- Stream Teams: Walk or paddle a designated section of the Blackstone or one of its tributaries, noting the flora and fauna, the terrain, and any potential threat to the water quality. The findings from these surveys become a list of action items to be resolved with local governments, agencies, and businesses. You can limit your involvement to one-time surveys or carry it through to resolution of the issues discovered.