How To Read A Stream 7/16

D-I-Y Water Quality Monitoring with the Community Science Institute!

Generously funded by the United Way of Seneca County.

Free Take-Home Aquatic Adventure Backpacks for participants while supplies last.

Learn how biodiversity affects Lodi’s waterways through hands-on experiments.

All ages welcome!

One of the best ways to learn about water quality in a stream is to look at the organisms that live there. The diversity of creatures living in a stream can tell you a lot about stream health and all you have to do is get to know who’s who. Is it a crayfish? A stonefly? A water penny?

Scientists often look at tiny organisms called benthic macroinvertebrates that live under rocks in streams to evaluate water quality and you can too! Poking around in streams is something that comes naturally to children of all ages.

In this two hour program led by the Community Science Institute, you’ll learn how to look at what’s living in your favorite stream to know something about water quality there. The program is meant to be suitable for all ages from toddler to adult, but parents of young children might want to consider coming mainly for the second hour which is hands-on activity that kids especially tend to love.

The first hour will be a slideshow overview of the most common benthic macroinvertebrates found in the streams that feed Seneca Lake, tips for how to recognize one from another and how finding different kinds of organisms can tell you about differences in water quality. In the second half of the program, we’ll look for organisms in a live sample collected that day from one of the creeks that flows near Lodi. We’ll try to evaluate stream health based on what we see. Everyone will go home with a booklet that will walk you through doing the same thing at your favorite creek.