Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program
Another important program of the Hawaii
Stream Research Center in the Limahuli project, is to develop a
functional model for community-based volunteer stream monitoring.
It will become more and more common in our state, as it has in
other states in the US, for citizens to take responsibility for
protecting their environment. Government cannot possibly do it
alone. Cadres of trained volunteers can provide relevant and
reliable data on the condition of streams in their communities.
As the "Neighborhood Watch" programs help to ensure the
quality of people's lives, so can volunteer stream monitoring
programs help to ensure the quality of their environment.
Volunteers must feel that their efforts are actually contributing to science and that they are part of a program that is making a difference. The stream monitoring program in Limahuli stream will essentially be staffed by volunteer teams who will collect data on stream fish, algae, and invertebrate populations on a rigid research schedule. Data collection efforts target specific questions being asked about the ecological functioning of Limahuli stream within its watershed therefore adding to our knowledge base on Hawaiian stream ecology. Data collected in this and other programs in the State are added to databases at the HSRC linked to our GIS (Geographical Information System).This information is made available to resource managers and the general public through our internet website. A volunteer stream monitoring workbook is under development that can be distributed to communities throughout the State interested in monitoring streams in their own neighborhoods.