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  • About Illinois RiverWatch

    Our Mission

    Illinois RiverWatch safeguards the future of Illinois rivers and streams through stewardship, education and sound science. RiverWatch utilizes trained volunteers to collect quality assured data on wadeable streams and fosters coordination among groups involved in similar monitoring efforts. 

    RiverWatch (Adult Program)

    The Illinois RiverWatch Network is a volunteer stream monitoring program that seeks to engage Illinois adults by training them as Citizen Scientists. Each year at adopted stream sites in their communities, Citizen Scientists conduct habitat and biological surveys, including the collection and identification of small stream organisms called macroinvertebrates that serve as bioindicators of water quality. The program strives to collect consistent, high-quality data on the conditions of local streams and provide citizens with a hands-on opportunity to be better stewards of our watersheds.

    RiverWatch was initiated in 1995 as part of the Critical Trends Assessment Project (CTAP), an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) project designed to conduct a long-term, comprehensive assessment of the environment in Illinois. In February of 2006, responsibility for RiverWatch was officially transferred to the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) with support from the Office of Lieutenant Governor. NGRREC's unique location, strong partnerships, and mission make it an ideal home for RiverWatch.

    We envision a collaborative river-monitoring network of citizens, organizations, agencies, private interests and governments working together to ensure the health and beauty of Illinois streams and watersheds.

    Click for RiverWatch Resources and Materials

    Stream Discovery (Grade 5-12 Educator Program)

    The Stream Discovery program is an environmental education project that provides students in grades 5-12 with the unique hands-on opportunity to learn about water quality in their community by monitoring a local stream. Training events for teachers, educators and group leaders are provided each year to teach you proper monitoring techniques. Educational materials and monitoring equipment are provided.

    Illinois rivers and streams are impacted by human activities and land uses. Stream monitoring offers hands-on learning approach for students to learn about water resources and develop an understanding of this important connection. Students wade through streams collecting water samples to determine the overall health of the stream and identify problems their community and watershed may be facing. The use of the stream as an outdoor classroom allows for in depth learning opportunities, and helps create a new generation of water stewards.

    Click for Stream Discovery Resources and Materials

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  • Contact

    Charlie Blake, Riverwatch Biologist

    One Confluence Way
    East Alton, IL 62024

    Phone: (618) 618-468-2784
    Fax: (618) 468-7784