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Friends teamed up with the Izaak Walton League’s Virginia Save Our Streams program to offer training and certification in benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) monitoring in March and April 2021, and will continue to offer periodic trainings for volunteer monitors. Help our community learn more about the health of our watershed and monitor its health over time by becoming a certified volunteer monitor!


Trainings will be held in three parts- two classroom sessions and one field certification session at Seven Bends State Park.  Dates and signup links will be posted here soon!

If you are interested in getting trained and want to be sure to receive notification of upcoming trainings, please contact [email protected]

Volunteer monitors collect and analyze data about these small insects living in streams twice per year, in the spring and fall. This data is then compiled through the Virginia Save Our Streams database, where it is shared with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for use in tracking progress of efforts to improve impaired areas, identifying areas for future DEQ monitoring. This data will also be used by Friends of the North Fork to educate the community about the health of the river.

Because volunteer monitors visit the same site at around the same time twice per year, they are extremely valuable for noting year-to-year changes, and can be the first to catch issues and identify pollution problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. If you are interested in becoming a certified Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitor for Friends and the Izaak Walton League, sign up for the training above or email our volunteer coordinator at [email protected]

If you want to find out more about monitoring and trainings, and how you can make a difference right near your own home or other by places you love in the North Fork watershed, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Julia Sargent, by email: [email protected]

Check out the map below for the sites currently being monitored

In the meantime, here is an example from Spring 2021 of how and why we are taking up this work as a community, and how you can become part of it…

If you have trouble accessing the registration link above, download the flyer below or contact [email protected].