Volunteer Stream Monitoring
Help make a difference in our environment! Join volunteers throughout Fairfax County who monitor water quality in local streams. County and state officials will use the data you collect to assess the overall condition of our streams and help determine watershed management initiatives.
Stream Monitoring Events
- Volunteer to monitor Fairfax County streams! Register for upcoming opportunities.
- Stream monitoring events go on year-round. Sign up for the Watershed Calendar to receive monthly email updates.
How Stream Monitoring Works
We train volunteers to assess ecological conditions in streams based on the presence and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic insects). Volunteers also learn how to take chemical measurements about nitrate/nitrite and turbidity. Training includes indoor and field workshops and mentoring by experienced monitors.
- Why monitor streams as a volunteer?
- Learn more about benthic macroinvertebrates
- See the Stream Monitoring Handbook for program information, safety guidelines and more.
The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District provides all the training and equipment you need. No prior experience is necessary. Volunteers can monitor at different levels of commitment. You may choose to assist other monitors when it is convenient for your schedule. Or you may adopt your chosen stream and commit to monitoring it four times a year. We will make the program work for you!
NVSWCD reviews and certifies the data and forwards it to the Fairfax County Stream Protection Strategy Program, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Save Our Streams.
To help monitor your local stream, email the coordinator or call 703-324-1422, TTY 711.