Since 1992, Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Water Watch mobilizes a committed network of citizens to make a difference for their local streams and communities. Water Watchers are “on-the-ground” trained investigators for the Delaware River and its tributary streams. Equipped with skills, tools, and persistent vigilance, Delaware Riverkeeper Network Water Watch detects pollution and helps diagnose the health of our expansive living River when no one else is watching. Working together with communities, agencies, and universities, using sound science to gather information, and capitalizing on the dedication of our staff and trained volunteers, Water Watch gathers the information necessary that helps build a strong science foundation for effective pollution detection and control, advocacy, and on-the-ground actions that lead to clean streams, healthy communities, and thriving natural areas.
Water Watch Toolbox
With a diverse watershed spanning four states and a multitude of living habitats, and with numerous historic and emerging threats to the River,DRN’s Water Watch is a multi-faceted monitoring program that selects appropriate methods from an assorted set of tools and protocols to best fit the unique needs of the River. From counting the populations of important wildlife like the ancient horseshoe crabs of the Delaware Bay, to assessing the smallest headwater streams to document abuse by adjacent landowners, assessing the headwaters with baseline monitoring to thwart gas drilling, or monitoring polluted runoff from urban land during storm events, DRN Water Watchers are out there!
Water Watch Pollution Hotline
Even if you are not a trained Water Watcher, your family and your community can do tremendous good for the watershed you live, work, commute, and play in every day. Just by being vigilant! If you see suspicious activity or suspect pollution on the land or in the water, document the exact location and activity with dated photos (smart phones are a monitors best friend) and report the problem to the appropriate agency and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network pollution hotline number. Save our hotline number and local agency numbers in your cell phone so their handy when you need it!
Download Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s pollution hotline contact list below: pollution hotline contact list
How can you be a Water Watcher?
Want to get started to assess a local stream in your community? You can start by getting familiar with your local stream by performing a stream walk visual assessment. Send your data and photos to Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s Water Watch. Remember, you are often the only eyes and ears for your local stream so your observations are critical. Follow the link below for more details.
(DRN/EPA Stream Walk assessment)
Water Watch Resources and Toolkits
Below a sampling of resources that our Water Watch program uses to collect important data.
DRN Monitor Protocols & Resources
- Pre-Assessment Pipeline Watch Protocols
- Gas Construction Phase Pipeline Watch-Dog Protocols
- Volunteer Code of Ethics and Landowner Permission Forms
- Shale Watch Stream Monitoring Protocols and Visual Assessment
- Adopt-A-Buffer Toolkit
- Water Watch Water Quality Protocols - Stream Monitoring Protocols – basic suite of parameters using Lamotte or HACH kits
- Visual Assessment Monitoring Protocols and QAPP - (Tailored for Alexsauken Creek)
- Dr. SWAT Oil Spill Toolkit
- Stream Health in the Upper Delaware River Basin Underlain by Marcellus Shale (2018-03-29)
Video Tutorials and Instructional Monitoring Modules
- Stream Monitoring Training Module #1 - Determining Surrogate Stream Flow and Grabbing a Sample
- Stream Monitoring Training Module #2 - Chloride Testing & If You Suspect a Pollution Event
- Stream Monitoring Training Module #3 How to calibrate and use the Lamotte Conductivity TRACER Meter
- Vernal Pool Module Presentation - You can brush up on your vernal pool skills by watching DRN's tutorial for volunteer monitors
To learn about Water Watch opportunities, internships,and trainings in your community and beyond, contact Faith Zerbe, Water Watch Director at 215-369-1188 ext 110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.