In the summer of 2014 the WVWA Creek Watch Program was launched with funding from the William Penn Foundation. Creek Watch is a team of trained citizen scientists that regularly monitor the Wissahickon Watershed and report their findings back to the WVWA. The goal of the program is for the WVWA to be alerted to any disturbances or changes as they appear so that the WVWA can take the appropriate action.
Each Creek Watcher is assigned a section of the Wissahickon Creek or tributary by the WVWA to be visited once a month. The sections include a monitoring site and a walking section. At the monitoring site, visual assessments are made on the algae cover, water clarity, and other factors. In the walking section, Creek Watchers walk near the creek and report any changes in erosion, vegetation, and other points of interest things back to the WVWA. As a part of the Delaware River Basin Initiative, funded by the William Penn Foundation, Creek Watchers are truly part of a regional effort to improve water quality in Philadelphia area watersheds.
This program is invaluable for the WVWA and our efforts to monitor the watershed. As an expansion of WVWA’s Stream Monitoring and Assessment Program (Stream MAP), Creek Watchers are able to cover a much larger area and monitor more frequently than the WVWA can alone. This fosters a better understanding of patterns throughout the watershed and areas in that are in need of attention, restoration, or community education.
Check out a few newspaper articles on the launching of the creek watch program: