Stream Team Data Stories: New Parameters!
In the spring of 2022, Stream Team volunteers monitoring 62 sites participated in a data interpretation process. As monitors recounted stream conditions in relationship to their values, it confirmed for the ALLARM team that the additional parameters of water stage and water clarity would enhance analysis efforts.
Stage is a measurement of water level and can be used as a proxy for water volume. This can add additional context to key Stream Team values. By measuring stage monthly, monitors will be able to see changes in the amount of water in their streams in comparison to other values they measure, including nitrate-nitrogen and conductivity. ALLARM trained monitors to read a provided DIY gage stick, in addition to measuring stage from a bridge using a tape measure.
Water clarity, or transparency, is a measure of how much light passes through the water. Suspended particles reduce the depth that sunlight can penetrate a stream and affect the growth of aquatic plants. Monitors were trained to use transparency tubes to measure water clarity at their sites.
As Stream Team enters its 5th year in 2023, we are excited to roll out new parameters and see what new data stories emerge in the upper Chesapeake Bay watershed!