Citizen scientists armed with freshly-restocked test kits spread out around Casco Bay on Saturday, April 19th to start their water quality monitoring season. Their work will contribute to the 23-year data set on the environmental health of the Bay collected by staff and volunteers for Friends of Casco Bay. A recent analysis of some of that data forms the foundation of our report, A Changing Casco Bay, to be released this summer.
Citizen Stewards Coordinator Peter Milholland has just completed training nearly two dozen new volunteers. In all, Friends of Casco Bay has a corps of 90 citizen scientists who will sample at 36 shoreside sites from April through October.
Peter was gratified that one of the original water quality sampling sites has been resurrected. For 16 years, two generations of the Galvin family monitored Dyers Cove in Quahog Bay in Harpswell. For the past five years, there has been no one to cover the site. Now, a team of our newest class of Citizen Stewards will take over the job. Peter says, “I’ve wanted to fill this site for a while, as this station is critical to helping us better understand Quahog Bay.”
Another development in Quahog Bay is the launch of its own sewage pumpout boat, operated by Quahog Conservation, LLC. “Another pumpout boat, one specifically designated to serve the many recreational boaters in Quahog Bay, will be a huge asset to that region,” says our Pumpout Coordinator Jim Splude.
We consider our dedicated citizen scientists and our friendly pumpout captain to be our most visible—and effective—Champions for Casco Bay.