The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) awarded Friends of Casco Bay a $5,000 RBC Blue Water Project grant to support the environmental organization’s water quality monitoring work. This grant will strengthen efforts to engage local citizens in sampling and protecting water quality in the Casco Bay watershed. Each year, dozens of volunteers collect data on water quality in Casco Bay. Trained in EPA-approved techniques, these Citizen Stewards collect samples at 30 sites around Casco Bay.
Supplementing the sampling and research work done by staff, Friends of Casco Bay volunteers collect baseline data on salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, water clarity, and nutrients. Together, staff scientists and volunteer Citizen Stewards have collected nearly 250,000 water quality measurements since 1992, making this data set one of the most comprehensive and reliable in Maine. Says Cathy Ramsdell, Friends of Casco Bay Executive Director, “This data is critical as Friends of Casco Bay works collaboratively with businesses, municipalities, and decision-makers around the Bay to find effective ways to curb pollution.”