ILLINOIS – The Illinois RiverWatch Network is offering Illinois residents the chance to train to

become citizen scientists and join the network of more than 750 volunteers throughout the state who

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monitor the water quality of Illinois streams.


RiverWatch is a statewide partnership of organizations and individuals working to protect Illinois

streams and waterways. Established in 1995 as a sub-program of the Illinois Department of Natural

Resources’ Eco Watch Network, certified volunteers called “Citizen Scientists” examine indicators

like stream habitats and diversity of macroinvertebrate species to provide reliable water quality data

that can be used by scientists to determine how the conditions of streams are changing over time.

Today, RiverWatch is a program of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, a

partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois and the Illinois

Natural History Survey.


Since its founding in 1995, more than 1,700 individuals have received certification through

RiverWatch, and 750 stream sites have been established for annual water quality sampling.

A series of volunteer training workshops will be held throughout the state this spring. The workshops

will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and combine both lecture/classroom time with field training in a

local stream. Registration is $50 per person and must be paid in advance of the workshop.

“Our rivers and streams are one of the most important natural resources we have, providing clean

drinking water, pollution reduction and wildlife habitat, while also playing a vital role in many

sectors of the economy,” RiverWatch Biologist Matthew Young said. “The scientific monitoring of

our streams is important to safeguard the future of Illinois rivers and streams.


“While there are government agencies devoted to stream monitoring, resources are limited to monitor

all streams regularly,” Young said. “This is why RiverWatch Citizen Scientists are so important, they

provide reliable scientific data on stream health where none previously existed, and also can provide

broader watershed perspectives on the quality of Illinois streams. ”


Training workshops are for volunteers who have received no training or partial training through

RiverWatch programs and who wish to become a part of the certified network of volunteers

throughout the state. Anybody can become a volunteer, but registrants under the age of 18 must be

accompanied by an adult.


Contact: Louise Jett

(618) 468-3220


To register for a workshop, contact Young at (618) 468-2784 or For more

information about RiverWatch visit


2014 RiverWatch Volunteer Training Workshops:

Sat., March 15

University of St. Francis

500 Wilcox Street, Joliet

Tower Hall, Room N111

Park in Main Lot behind Tower Hall

(815) 740-3360


Sat., March 22

Lewis and Clark Community College

5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey

Haskell Hall, Room 101

Park in Student Parking in front of

Haskell Hall

(618) 468-2782


Sat., March 29

John A. Logan College

700 Logan College Rd, Carterville

Workforce Development Building “H,” Room


Park in Lot ‘B’

(618) 985-2828

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Sat., March 29

Benedictine University

1500 North Fifth Street, Springfield

Dawson Hall Room D11

Park on Street

(217) 525-1420


Sat., April 5

John Wood Community College

1301 South 48th Street, Quincy

Building B

Park in front of the building

(217) 224-6500


Sat, April 12

Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve

Main Entrance: 109 S. Lake of the Woods

Road, Mahomet

Izaak Walton Cabin

(217) 586-3360


Sat., April 26

Sugar Grove Nature Center

4532 North 725 East Road, McLean

(309) 874-2174


Sat., May 3

The Nature Institute

2213 S. Levis Lane, Godfrey



Sat., May 3

Black Hawk College

6600 34th Avenue, Moline

Building 2, Room 204

Park in Lot 1 in front of Building 2

(309) 796-5000


Thur., May 8

University of St. Francis

500 Wilcox Street, Joliet

Tower Hall, Room N111

Park in Main Lot behind Tower Hall

(815) 740-3360


Sat., May 10

Sommer Park

6329 N Koerner Road, Edwards

(309) 691-8423


Sat., May 17

College of Lake County

19351 W Washington Street

Meet in C Wing, Room C225

Park in Lot 7

(847) 543-2000


Sat., May 31

Severson Dells Nature Center

8786 Montague Road, Rockford

Park on site (stay to the Right at “Y”)

(815) 335-2915

More like this:

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Feb 6, 2017 | Illinois RiverWatch citizen scientists monitor the health of Illinois streams