MIDDLETOWN, CT—On July 25, Jacqueline Talbot of the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC), Meghan Ruta of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) and a steering committee comprised of conservation groups from around the state organized the first Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Conference in recent history in Connecticut. Approximately 100 people, including environmental professionals, volunteers, and students, attended the event at Goodwin College, a university with a strong relationship to the Connecticut River.

“We hoped to strengthen water quality monitoring through collaboration,” notes CRWC’s Jacqueline Talbot. “It was wonderful to see all the idea sharing between organizations across the state doing similar work. We also wanted to take the opportunity to thank participants for the unglamorous, muddy, yet really important work they do,” continues Talbot. “Many of these individuals volunteer their time to collect water samples that help inform their communities about the health and safety of their local waters.”

U.S. Geological Survey and CT DEEP shared overviews of their water monitoring programs. The event included resources for groups just getting started collecting water samples, information on freshwater mussels and water quality, bacteria, youth engagement and more. “General feedback so far is that it was a great success. We hope this conference will serve as a springboard for other similar events to further cooperation between state agencies, NGOs and citizen scientists” says Meghan Ruta of CT DEEP.

Conference organizers would like to thank their hosts, Bruce Morton and Goodwin College, as well as the steering committee and supporters: Jane Brawerman of the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District, Chris Bellucci of CT DEEP, Judy Rondeau of the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District, Alisa Phillips-Griggs of the Farmington River Water Association, Mike Jastremski of the Housatonic Valley Association, Jean Pillo of The Last Green Valley / Eastern Connecticut Conservation District, Carol Haskins of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, Margaret Miner of Rivers Alliance of CT and Jon Morrison of the U.S. Geological Survey.

To learn more about the health of the Connecticut River watershed, visit www.ConnecticutRiver.us and click on ‘Is It Clean?’ There you will find recent bacteria results from 124 sites throughout the four state watershed.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:                                                                     

Jacqueline Talbot, CRWC CT River Steward,

jtalbot@ctriver.org, 860-704-0057

Meghan Ruta, CT DEEP Environmental Analyst,

Meghan.Ruta@ct.gov, 860.424.3061