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EPA Announces New Equipment Loan Program and Joins Groundwork Lawrence Green Team To Celebrate World Water Monitoring Day
Release Date: 10/18/2005
Contact: Sheryl Rosner (email@example.com), EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865
For Immediate Release: October 18, 2005; Release # sr051012
BOSTON --- As part of the international celebration of World Water Monitoring Day, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Groundwork Lawrence Green Team sampled the Spickett River at an event in Lawrence, Mass. today. As part of today’s event, EPA also announced that it will begin a program to loan water monitoring equipment to citizen groups in New England so that others can participate and help collect water quality data.
Water monitoring by volunteer groups provides important data that is used by all New England states and EPA in assessing water quality conditions of lakes, rivers, coastal waterways and estuaries. Groups that are involved in water quality monitoring have been successful in raising awareness of local water quality problems often due to failing septic systems, illicit discharges of sanitary sewerage, and stormwater runoff.
“World Water Monitoring Day offers a unique opportunity for citizens to think globally and act locally by helping those charged with protecting our water with useful information about water quality,” said Michael Kenyon, Director of the Office of Environmental Measurement and Evaluation at EPA’s New England Regional Office. “And now, EPA is helping fund local groups by initiating an equipment loan program to further support these efforts.”
In addition to discussing local World Monitoring Day events in New England, EPA announced a new equipment loan program to support volunteer water monitoring in New England. The equipment will assist citizen groups as they seek to expand and improve water quality data collection, by measuring dissolved oxygen, nutrients, bacteria, and other parameters. The groups will then be required to submit data to EPA which will be used by regulatory agencies and water quality experts. The long-term loan program will be available to qualified groups this winter.
The equipment loan program will also help states in their efforts to expand participation of citizens in gathering important data about surface waters, by encouraging students and citizens to become stewards of their local waterways. It is critical for environmental agencies to take advantage of environmental data generated by others in order to help provide information about the effectiveness of water protection efforts.
Today marks the official date for World Water Monitoring Day each year. It is an initiative cosponsored by EPA, with the Clean Water Foundation and the International Water Association, to urge people around the world to test the quality of their streams, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters.
During World Water Monitoring Day, volunteers of all ages perform four tests to measure dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity/clarity and temperature. They then enter their findings on an internet web page, which, in turn, provides a resource to individuals and institutions interested in clean water.
To celebrate World Water Monitoring Day, EPA joined forces with local students from the Groundwork Lawrence Green Team. Groundwork Lawrence is a non-profit organization working to improve and restore the urban environment through community-based partnerships. Youth from the Groundwork Green Team assisted EPA with water sampling on the Spickett River, a long-neglected waterway that is being transformed from a polluted dumping ground into a vibrant Greenway with new parks, trails and educational opportunities.
In addition to water sampling, the Groundwork Green Team is working on a project to identify native and invasive plant species along the banks of the Spickett River. According to Maggie Super Church, Groundwork’s Executive Director, “It is vitally important to engage our youth in the process of environmental change. The opportunity to learn about and improve the quality of life in your own neighborhood is a very empowering experience. We are continually impressed by the commitment that Lawrence youth have shown to solving very complex environmental challenges in our city.”
Additional information is available from America's Clean Water Foundation at www.worldwatermonitoringday.org
Information about EPA’s future equipment loan program will be posted at: www.epa.gov/ne/lab
For more information about Groundwork Lawrence, go to www.groundworklawrence.org