From October 2018 through December 2021, ALLARM’s Stream Team program expanded to nine counties, 65 sites, and 120 volunteers. Integrated support systems and partnerships are vitally important to the success of the program. In fall 2021, when we chatted with the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper, John Zaktansky. It became clear that it would be good to increase stream monitoring in the Middle Susquehanna and he suggested focusing on Clinton and Lycoming Counties.
When beginning a monitoring program in new counties, it is important for us to not duplicate the efforts already being done by the many partners and institutions in the region. First, we reached out the county conservation districts who hopped on board. They gave us a list of academic partners to connect to and ALLARM met with each of the following institutions to understand their programs, explore synergies, and understand their approach to assessing aquatic health: Susquehanna University’s Freshwater Research Institute, Lycoming College Clean Water Institute, Bloomsburg University, Mansfield University, and Lock Haven University. With each conversation new partnerships formed, ALLARM was able to cycle back with John and the county conservation districts to develop a list of monitoring sites that would complement existing efforts.
On March 22nd, we were able to train 22 volunteers to monitor 12 sites, which includes engaging 3 local high schools!