Watershed monitoring targeting trends

Data collected from 14 watersheds in the Nanaimo area by local stewardship groups is helping power a monitoring program created to target trends and raise awareness of watershed health in the Nanaimo region.

The Community Watershed Monitoring Network is now finalizing its second year of collecting samples at designated sites. A report on the results of the 2012 data collection, which took place Aug. 14 to Nov. 13, 2012, is expected to be released in the next month, said Julie Pisani, with the Nanaimo Regional District’s watershed protection program.

“It’s very preliminary and it will indicate where we can put more resources into looking more in depth into certain watersheds,” she said.

Pisani noted that in watershed data collection, trends can not be reported on until there has been at least three years of data available. “In the long term, this data will help us see trends in the watersheds and it can help inform land use planning and those types of decisions.”

The volunteer monitors test for key factors in fish habitat and watershed health, such as turbidity, conductivity and temperature.

Watershed sites included in the study in Nanaimo are Chase River, Beck Creek, Nanaimo River, Departure Creek, Cottle Creek, Millstone River, and Northfield Creek.

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