Did you know that there’s a new EPA-led citizen science project aimed at clean water management, and YOU can help? The Cyanobacteria Monitoring Collaborative invites anyone interested in protecting our clean water to monitor and collect data on cyanobacteria blooms.
Cyanobacteria are thriving in our shared waterways at the moment, as fertilizer runoff and increased global temperatures are creating a perfect environment for them to multiply. Cyanobacteria consumes oxygen in the water and, as a byproduct, creates excess scum and bacterial buildup that can block sunlight and smother, starve, and severely weaken other aquatic organisms. These algal “blooms” can also release toxins into the water that renders it unsafe for human consumption.
Does this sound like something you might want to get involved in? There are three levels of involvement, with the simplest being merely downloading an app and entering in sites and dates when you happen to notice cyanobacterial blooms. At the second level, you may volunteer some hours every week to work with Cyanoscope, utilizing their extensive mapping technology to derive inferences from the data about bloom patterns, regions, and risk. At the third level, you may get even more involved with the program by investigating which environmental factors correlate strongest with blooms.