The Nature Conservancy will be conducting its annual macro invertebrate study of the Saugatuck River. This is a fantastic learning experience as well as great opportunity to learn what the fish eat in the Saugy. Read below.
Subject: Volunteer Macroinvertebrate Training & Sampling Events
Hello Volunteers and Volunteer Coordinators!
The Nature Conservancy’s is hosting its 9th annual macroinvertebrate sampling and training program to monitor the health of the Saugatuck River system and you are invited to participate in one or both events.
The first part of the morning will be an indoor training on macroinvertebrates and the sampling method. Volunteers will then break into teams and go out to a river site to take their sample. Staff will move from site to site to offer assistance in the identification of the different organisms.
What: Macroinvertebrate Training and Sampling Event 1
When: 9:00 AM on Saturday, October 20th *
Where: Weston Public Library, 56 Norfield Road, Weston then at sampling sites along the Saugatuck River
What: Macroinvertebrate Training and Sampling Event 2
When: 9:00 AM on Sunday, October 21st *
Where: the Redding Community Center (in the Community Room) on 37 Lonetown Road), Redding (behind Redding Elementary School then at sampling sites along the Saugatuck River
Registration is required by Tuesday, October 16th
*All volunteers work in teams and surveys are usually completed by 1:00 pm.
What is it?
What are these “macroinvertebrates”?
Freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates are animals without backbones that are visible to the naked eye and dwell in the bottom of streams. The group includes crayfish, mollusks such as clams and snails, aquatic worms and immature forms of aquatic insects such as stonefly, dragonfly and mayfly nymphs. These organisms have varying tolerances for environmental conditions and therefore are excellent indicators of water quality.
Why should I participate?
The events are interesting, educational, and provide rare opportunities to participate in valuable “citizen science” efforts in your community. You can also go in the stream if you want and touch really cool bugs..it’s fun!
What if I am interested?
If you or any students you may have would be interested in participating and would like to register, or if you would like more information regarding this project, please contact Cynthia Fowx, at The Nature Conservancy’s Devil’s Den Preserve: (203) 226-4991 x 116, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Registration is required by Tuesday, October 16th
. All participants will be required to register in advance. New volunteers must submit liability waiver and information forms as part of the registration process
; please reply if you need these forms. These forms are also available at http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/connecticut/volunteer/index.htm
Note: Please make sure your email address is legible, so that we can reach you with important information!
What should I bring?
Please bring a bag lunch and a change of clothes. Dress for the weather and to go in the water (waders or water shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting wet). Sunscreen and bug spray are also recommended. Some other things you might want to bring: a ground cloth or cushion to sit on the ground and sort your samples, a towel in case you get wet and plastic zip-top bag(s) for phone or other items.
Do I have to go in the water and what’s that like?
At least two members of each sampling team should go into the water. The water can be quite chilly, but doesn’t require that you go in above a wadeable height (somewhere between the tops of rain boots and your waist, usually).
We look forward to hearing from you!
Cynthia Fowx and Sally Harold
Saugatuck Forest Lands Office Administrator & Volunteer Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy
Devil’s Den Preserve
P.O. Box 1162
33 Pent Road
Weston, CT 06883
(203) 226-4991 Ext. 116 (Phone)
(203) 226-4807 (Fax)
Office Hours: M, T, W 9-5