The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) along with local watershed groups is implementing water monitoring programs to obtain the baseline information necessary before Marcellus Shale drilling begins in Maryland. Watershed Associations in western Maryland are helping to staff this volunteer effort and are currently in the process of obtaining permission to access the testing sites that have been identified by DNR. More than 70 people have already been trained by DNR and Garrett County Watershed Associations.
The volunteer effort supplements permanent water quality monitoring stations at approximately sixty locations, with the volunteer sites prioritized by DNR based on locations nearest Marcellus shale leased lands. Volunteers are provided with water quality probes, pH test paper, instructions, forms for recording results, supplies, and a “Volunteer Water Quality Monitor” badge provided by the Garrett County Commissioners. Volunteers are also provided with a map to locate the stream to be monitored and a GPS unit to accurately locate the site. The monitoring effort asks for a one-year commitment for the specific site, with testing occurring weekly depending on weather conditions. Training sessions lasting for 2-3 hours are scheduled for later this spring and into the summer.
If you would be interested in participating in monitoring efforts near you, please contact your nearby watershed Association:
Friends of Deep Creek Lake firstname.lastname@example.org
Savage River Watershed Association email@example.com
Youghiogheny River Watershed Association Youghwatershed@gmail.com
or for more information contact Christine King at the DNR firstname.lastname@example.org