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Volunteer Monitoring

Getting Started! Helping to Organize a Monitoring Program

Volunteering your time to become a steward to your local stream, estuary or lake can be very rewarding. However, many times once a volunteer takes a training workshop you may ask "Now what?" There are two options for you, you can become part of a pre-existing volunteer monitoring program in your area or you can create your own monitoring program.

A resource to help you find local monitoring groups, located on the EPA's website, is the National Directory of Volunteer Monitoring Programs. Another resource, on the NJDEP website, is a listing of the Watershed Watch Members.

There are numerous potential monitoring program goals and monitoring activities available to meet those goals. First, you must ask yourself why you want to monitor; what is the purpose of wanting a program? Second, you need to define what you want your data to be used for? And third, who do you want your data to be used by?

Here are some additional resources for starting your own Volunteer Monitoring Group:

New Group Signup Form (Word Format) - this form was created to aid groups with the task of defining their goals, data uses and data users
Starting Out in Volunteer Water Monitoring - EPA
Getting Started: Finding Resources in the Guide to Growing CSREES Volunteer Monitoring Programs Factsheet III
Designing Your Monitoring Strategy: Basic Questions and Resoureces to Help Guide You from CSREES VM Water Quality Monitoring Factsheet IV

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2009
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 13, 2009