&EPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
         Rhode Island
         Sea Grant Program
Office of Water
Washington DC 20460
September 1989
EPA
             Narraganselt Rl 02862
         Citizen
         Volunteers in
         Environmental
         Monitoring
        Summary Proceedings
        of a National Workshop

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Citizen
Volunteers in
Environmental
Monitoring
Summary Proceedings
of a National Workshop
TABLE OF CONTENTS


3   Workshop Goals and Objectives

4   Workshop Agenda

6   Charge to the Workshop from Sponsors

8   Abstracts of Overview Papers

12   Keynote Address

14   Workshop Findings

15   Workshop Recommendations to EPA

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Workshop  Goals  and Objectives
There is a growing awareness of the value of using
volunteers to gather useful environmental data. The
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of
Water and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program
joirtly sponsored a national workshop on "The Role
of Citizen Volunteers in Environmental Monitoring"
from May 23-25, 1988, at the Narragansett Bay Cam-
pus; of the University of Rhode Island.

The workshop was designed to explore the potential
uses for and the successful ingredients of citizen
monitoring programs. It was also intended to foster a
network of volunteer monitoring programs and to pro-
vide a vehide for information exchange among a
var ety of existing programs around the country,
some many years old, others in their infancy.

The EPA was interested in determining how  citizen
monitoring programs can help develop and evaluate
pollution control strategies.  Sea Grant is the major
coastal zone research agency, with a strong  educa-
tion and outreach program as well. Sea Grant saw
the conference as a chance to bring together coordi-
nators to communicate problems and to seek solu-
tions.

A complete proceedings of the workshop will be pub-
lished in late 1988 and will include the major presen-
tations, an overview of all the known volunteer moni-
toring projects, and results of the discussions that
took place during the workshop. Major findings and
recommendations to EPA are included in this interim
document.

Workshop participants included representatives of
some 80 monitoring programs from around the U.S.
These programs range from international to  local
efforts, and have been organized by universities,
private labs, governmental agencies, nonprofit or-
ganizations, and watershed associations.
The first day of the workshop introduced the wide
variety of citizen monitoring projects that have been
carried out to 1) establish long-term trends for sci-
ence and management; 2) provide "watch dogs" for
enforcement of environmental regulations; and 3)
carry out short-term monitoring for specific issues and
education.

The second and third days of the workshop focused
on identifying the essential ingredients for successful
monitoring programs, including: 1) identifying useful
information; 2) obtaining funding and reducing costs;
3) providing credible information; and 4} maintaining
motivation and positive feedback.

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 Workshop Agenda
INTRODUCTION TO CITIZEN MONITORING PROGRAMS
VOLUNTEER MONITORING ON A NATIONAL LEVEL

• National Weather Service—100 Years of Citizen-Measured Climate Trends, Tom Blackburn
• Earthwatch—Short-Term Use of Citizens in Diverse Research Projects, Blue Magruder
• Monomet Bird Observatory—International Shorebird Survey, Linda E. Leddy
ESTABLISHING LONG-TERM TRENDS FOR SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT
 Illinois Lake Monitoring, Janet Hawes
 Rhode Island Salt Pond Watchers, Virginia Lee
 New Hampshire Lakes Lay Monitoring, Jeff Schtoss
• Adopt A Stream, Delta Labs, Stephen Raines
• Maine's Volunteer Anglers, Forrest Bonney
• Massachusetts Acid Rain Monitoring, Paul Godfrey
MONITORS AS WATCH DOGS FOR ENFORCEMENT

• Minnesota Citizens Lake Monitoring, Judy Bostrom
• Hudson River Keeper, John Cronin
 Maryland's "Save Our Streams," Bruce Van Dervort
 National River Watch Network, Jack Byrne
SHORT-TERM MONITORING FOR SPECIFIC ISSUES AND EDUCATION
• CEE, Texas Coastal Cleanup, Linda Maraniss
• TVA Surface Water Network, Linda Fowler
• Michigan Volunteer Lakes, Rob McLennan
 Ohio's "Scenic Rivers," John Kopec
 Washington's "Adopt a Stream." Tom Murdoch
 Kentucky Water Watch. Ken Cooke
POSTER SESSIONS AND FILM EXHIBITS
KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Rebecca Hanmer, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water, U.S. EPA

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IDENTIFYING BASIC INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
      IDENTIFYING USEFUL INFORMATION: WHAT INFORMATION IS
      NEEDED AND HOW CAN IT BE USED?

      Overview by Ken Pritchard, Washington "Adopt a Beach" Program
      • What can volunteers realistically accomplish?
      • Characterization of a water body
      • Planning management strategies
      • Monitoring effectiveness of implementation
    OBTAINING FUNDING AND REDUCING COSTS

      Overview by Betsey Johnson, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Boston
      * Program evaluation and streamlining
      • Networking private and public funding
      * In-kind contributions from laboratories and other innovations
    PROVIDING CREDIBLE INFORMATION

      Overview by Kathy Ellett, Chesapeake Citizen Monitoring Program
      • How to pick parameters, station locations, and field and laboratory locations
      • How to assure quality control, adequate training, and accurate measurements in
       the field, in the lab, and in the data summary
      • How to safeguard data management
IV.  MAINTAINING MOTIVATION AND POSITIVE FEEDBACK

      Overview by John Tiedeman, New Jersey Sea Grant Program
      • Packaging information for maximum use in planning, building consensus,
              and public education
      • Handling attrition and recruitment of new people
      • Networking with the community
      • Good press and media relations
DISCUSSION IN WORKING GROUPS

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 Charge to the
 Workshop from  Sponsors
OPENING REMARKS

Scoff Nixon, Director
Rhode Island Sea Grant

Scott Nixon, Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant
College Program, emphasized Sea Grant's strong
education and outreach program as well as its inter-
est in coastal zone research. He saw the conference
as a chance to bring together coordinators to commu-
nicate problems and to seek solutions. Sea Grant is
interested in how far we can go with volunteer efforts.
He talked about the value of long-term data sets and
gave the example of a major volcanic eruption in In-
donesia causing lower temperatures in New England.
We were able to make the connection between these
two events because of these long-term records.  He
also pointed out that long-term data sets may provide
unforeseen insights into future environmental condi-
tions.

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OPENING REMARKS

 Tom DeMoss, Director
 Technical Support Division
EPA Office of Marine and Estuarine Protection

The Environmental Protection Agency is very inter-
ested in exploring the feasibility of using citizen moni-
toring programs to support its mission of protecting
and improving water quality in the nation's estuaries
and near coastal waters.  We believe that this confer-
ence will provide us with a better understanding of
the value of citizen monitoring and the factors to be
considered in establishing a volunteer monitoring
program.
    success and benefits of establishing citizen
monitoring programs have been demonstrated in a
number of different locations around the country. In
the Chesapeake Bay, a citizen monitoring program
has demonstrated that trained volunteers can collect
quality-controlled and assured data. In Rhode Island,
the Salt Pond Watchers have been collecting data
measuring a number of commonly accepted parame-
ters of pollution.  Two of these, bacteria and dis-
solved oxygen, provide the basis for classification of
coastal tidal waters. Citizen volunteers in the Che-
sapeake and elsewhere have also demonstrated their
ability to collect important observational data and to
respond quickly and with more flexibility than the
states to unusual events such as hurricanes and
floods. Citizen monitoring can help the public under-
stand why it is difficult for scientists to make a direct
link between living resources and water quality. It
can also add greatly to public understanding of the
comjjlexity of aquatic ecosystems, and form the foun-
dation for  effective long-term public support and co-
operation.
We believe that volunteer monitoring activities can
augment monitoring programs already in existence at
the federal, state, and local levels.  Volunteers can
support and encourage work to address difficult envi-
ronmental problems like land use management and
urban runoff.  Two types of environmental programs
can be supported by volunteer monitoring: enforce-
ment and compliance monitoring programs that
require excellent quality assurance and quality control
measures in order to provide useful data, and pro-
grams that achieve results through consensus build-
ing. Increasing public awareness of environmental
problems through citizen involvement can serve both
types of programs. Citizen monitoring can play a key
role in building public support for action and ultimately
the political will to accomplish environmental goals.

The EPA's Office of Marine and Estuarine Protection
is particularly interested in understanding how citizen
volunteer monitoring programs can assist the Agency
and the states in five areas:

1) How can volunteer monitoring programs provide
data to characterize our water resources?
2) How can volunteers provide data to assist in plan-
ning and policy development?
3) How can volunteers function as watch dogs for
enforcement and assist in the implementation of
regulations?
4) What is the role of citizen monitoring in educating
the public about environmental problems and promot-
ing public awareness of  environmental issues?
5) How can volunteers provide useful data for special
research projects designed to address specific prob-
lems?

We ask that you give special consideration to these
questions during the discussion sessions at this con-
ference. With your help we can build relationships
among citizens, the states, and the EPA in these
areas. We need to establish trust and cooperation
among regulators and citizen volunteers in order to
work together toward our common goal of environ-
mental protection.

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 Abstracts  of  Overview  Papers
 IDENTIFYING USEFUL INFORMATION:
 WHAT INFORMATION IS NEEDED AND HOW CAN
 IT BE USED?

 Overflew by Ken Pritcharti
 Washington "Adopt a Beach" Program

 This paper is a discussion based on interviews with
 water quality project designers, the experience of a
 Puget Sound community-based program called
 "Adopt* Beach," and the results of a survey among
 participants at this workshop.
      r
 Part One explores common ingredients that help pro-
 vide useful information and improve the quality of a
 citizen monitoring project:
 * The experience must be rewarding to the volun-
 teers.
 * Data analysts must have confidence in the data and
 must value the information.
 • Once analyzed, the data must contribute to action
 or provide a direct benefit to the volunteers.
 • The volunteer effort results must reach out to the
 community.

 Some practical hints that help in implementing these
 ingredients include:
 • Volunteer groups should not take on monitoring
 projects where the information cannot or will not be
 used.
 • Synchronize the monitoring period to coincide with
 the period you can commit to supporting the volun-
 teers.
 • Select the simplest monitoring method that will do
the job.
 • Select the right volunteers for the job—probe the
ranks of the retired community, scientists, techni-
cians, teachers who care about their local resources.
• Invest time to assist your volunteers in the begin-
ning and throughout the project.
• Delegate some of the coordination to the volunteers
themselves.
• If you represent a community group that wants to
initiate a project, get expert input and do not embark
on a project if no one has committed to use your data
in a way that is satisfactory to the group.

There are no across-the-board inherent problems in
using volunteers for monitoring projects that proper
project selection, volunteer recruitment, and manage-
ment cannot overcome. The sharing of responsibility
in environmental protection is the ultimate purpose of
citizen monitoring.

Part Two describes ways to identify needed projects
and briefly discusses three promising areas of moni-
toring: habitat ground truthing, field inventories, and
diagnostic monitoring.  Information uses can be
defined in broad terms:  1) baseline (where no prior
data exist); 2) on-going formal monitoring; and 3)
early warning (to alert authorities to a problem that
needs verification). The end purposes of the uses fall
into four categories:  1) general fact finding; 2) direct
assistance for zoning or regulatory planning; 3) en-
forcement; and 4) public safety.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IS EVERYONE'S
BUSINESS. Citizens are not an adjunct voluntary
service of an agency; rather, they are partners to help
protect the environment.  What keeps the volunteers
together is no longer a single monitoring task, but
their expanded role as the guardians and stewards of
their local natural resources. It is this type of coop-
eration between regulators, resource trustees, and
citizens at the local level that is our best guarantee
for environmental protection.

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 OEITAINING FUNDING AND REDUCING COSTS
PROVIDING CREDIBLE INFORMATION
 Overview by Betsey Johnson
 Massachusetts Audubon Society, Boston

 Funding is needed by alt volunteer environmental
 monitoring programs for personnel, equipment,
 training, data management, reporting, and volunteer
 recruitment and motivation. A survey of existing
 programs finds six main funding sources: govern-
 ment, contributions for services, university program
 buijgets, nonprofit organization operating budgets,
 private foundation and corporate contributions, and
 other sources, including legal fees and sale of items.

 A number of state-run programs use funds available
 under sections 106 and 205(j) of the Clean Water
 Ac;. These funds may be passed on to private
 organizations. Public/private partnerships have been
 expanded with some states providing grant funds for
 local programs. States are using industrial fine mo-
 nies and tax check-off programs to obtain funding for
 such local programs.

 Other programs are conducted with no government
 monies, but rely on fees for service, and university
 and nonprofit organization program budgets.  Non-
 profits traditionally obtain funding from a variety of
 sources: dues, contributions, special events, founda-
 tion grants, corporate contributions, and in-kind
 services.

 Th* long-term success of programs depends on di-
 versifying funding sources.  Funding is being pro-
 vided if the value of the program is well recognized.
 Funding success is closely tied to assuring clearly
 stated program goals, collection of meaningful data,
quality control, regular program evaluations,  and ade-
quate publicity.
Overview by Kathy Ellen
Chesapeake Citizen Monitoring Program

Despite many and varied successful experiences with
volunteer monitoring around the country, there is still
skepticism in the scientific and technical community
about the positive contribution that volunteers can
make to environmental data bases. Those of us who
have been involved in volunteer monitoring projects
know that we can collect credible data and provide
useful information. Our goal is to get this message
across to the relevant people in such a way that our
efforts will be more readily accepted and our informa-
tion used by those who need it

Ecological monitoring can be defined as repetitive
measurements or observations recorded over time for
the purpose of determining a condition or tracking
change. Citizen monitoring can be defined as the
scheduled sampling of selected environmental and
biological variables by unpaid citizen volunteers.

Citizen monitoring can be divided into two categories:
formal technical monitoring, and nontechnical moni-
toring. Formal technical monitoring is performed for
scientific, technical, or legal purposes.  For such
monitoring: 1) the quality of all data must be assured;
2) the data must have identified value; and 3} the
data must meet ail criteria for inclusion in the relevant
data base or requested by the data user(s).  Nontech-
nical monitoring includes all other types of citizen
monitoring.

The essential ingredients needed to plan a successful
volunteer monitoring project and to provide credible
information to the appropriate user(s) are:

1) Have a dear purpose established for the use of the
data. Your data should be collected in answer to a
question or in response to a stated hypothesis.

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 10
2) Establish your Data Quality Objectives (DQOs) in
concert with the data user(s).  DQOs are formal state-
ments of the quality (level of uncertainty) of environ-
mental data required to support program decisions or
actions.
3) Write a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) or
its equivalent.  This step is essential for formal techni-
cal monitoring  projects. Non-formal projects can also
benefit from careful attention to quality assurance.
Guidelines on the elements included in such plans
can be obtained from the Quality Assurance Officer at
any U.S. EPA Regional Office.
4} Implement all the elements of your quality assur-
ance plan.  Pay particular attention to the data man-
agement element—archived,  never- reported data is
not much good. Properly documented data sets can
be used in the  future.
Finally, keep in mind that the project should be fun
and interesting as well as useful from a scientific
point of view.
MAINTAINING MOTIVATION AND POSITIVE
FEEDBACK

Overview by John Tiedeman
New Jersey Sea Grant Program

Volunteers and volunteer organizations are part of
the American lifestyle. Recent citizen involvement in
environmental issues can trace its roots back to the
first Earth Day in 1970, when it was acknowledged to
the nation that our ecological future was in jeopardy
and in need of serious attention. In the past decade
Americans have become more involved in participat-
ing in the management of our natural resources.

The ingredients for effective management of volun-
teer programs include:

1) organizing for action by focusing your program in
areas where there will be a good chance of success
and impact from your activities;
2) planning a strategy that entails setting objectives
(collecting data, monitoring conditions, etc.) and
goals (time frame for collection, quantity of data
sought, etc.);
3) recruiting effective volunteers, including some pro-
fessionals who possess a variety of special skills,
education, and experience that will benefit the pro-
gram. (Important sources of volunteers are organized
clubs, associations, and societies—particularly
affected user groups.)

The ingredients for maintaining motivation in volun-
teer programs include:

1) recognizing their accomplishments through
awards, letters of appreciation, and certificates;
2) providing sound training and ongoing learning op-
portunities;
3) giving experienced volunteers increased responsi-
bility;
4) providing opportunities for personal growth and
development;

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                                                                                                11
5) providing accessibility to program managers;
6) communicating the importance of the data being
collected or work being performed through publica-
tions, meetings, phone networks, reports, press
releases, and newsletters.

The feeling of being in tune with the whole is of prime
importance to volunteers.  Tenacity is of prime impor-
tance to successful management. By working closely
together, managers and citizens can produce results
that meet and often exceed the goals and objectives
of environmental monitoring programs.

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 Keynote Address
 THE ROLE OF CITIZEN MONITORING IN
 SUPPORTING EPA PROGRAMS

 Rebecca Hanmer
 Acting Assistant Administrator for Water. U.S. EPA

 I am honored to be here today to join your national
 conference on citizen monitoring. I know that the
 Office of Marine and Estuarine Protection is particu-
 larly interested in establishing citizen monitoring as a
 component of new estuary programs. I am pleased
 that a number of estuary program managers from the
 EPA regions and states could attend this conference
 to learn from the experiences of established citizen
 monitoring programs.

 The EPA is anxious to explore the role that volunteer
 monitoring may play in supporting the Agency's
 efforts to improve water quality in the nation's
 streams, lakes, and near coastal waters. EPA is
 pleased to be cosponsoring this conference with
 NOAA's Sea Grant Program.  This first national
 conference of citizen volunteers has brought together
 a diverse group of talented people who share  con-
 cern for the environment.  Some of you are managers
 of volunteer monitoring programs, while  others are
 citizen experts who have participated in volunteer
 programs to gather environmental data.

 We are meeting here to exchange ideas and seek
 answers to some questions of considerable impor-
 tance to the environmental community: How can
data collected by volunteers be used to characterize
problems and understand the long-term trends in a
water body? How can the regulatory community use
data collected by citizen volunteers to support plan-
ning and policy development? How can  citizen
volunteers collect data to support the regulatory
community's enforcement and compliance  programs?
I am confident that the proceedings of this  conference
will answer some of these questions and begin to
provide direction as we look to citizens for assistance
in supplying the information we will need to make
difficult decisions.  I am here to listen and participate
in this conference because I feel that citizen involve-
ment in the state and EPA decision-making process,
through monitoring and other public participation ac-
tivities, is extremely important

The new focus of EPA's water quality management
activities will require the collection of new types of
data.  We believe that citizen volunteers may be able
to provide some of these data. In the 1970s and
early 1980s, the focus of EPA's effort to manage
water quality was on technology-based control of
conventional point source pollutants.  EPA is now
moving toward water-quality-based control of conven-
tional  pollutants and toxics, and the Agency has rec-
ognized the importance of controlling nonpoint
pollutants as well.  State and EPA managers are
confronted with a daunting array of data needs as
they meet a number of challenges posed by the
complex decision environment These data needs
have been identified in the Agency's recently com-
pleted study on surface water monitoring.

EPA and the states require data  on the ecological
effects of toxic discharges.  In the past few years,
EPA and other environmental organizations have
recognized that toxic contamination is a widespread
and serious threat. In addition to the priority pollut-
ants listed in the 1977 amendments to the Clean
Water Act, EPA has identified more than 600 hazard-
ous or toxic chemicals that may require regulation,
not only in surface waters but also in ground waters
and finished drinking water.

Data are needed to determine "acceptable" levels of
waste that can be discharged into water bodies.  Be-
cause technology-based permit limits do not suffi-
ciently protect the quality of receiving waters, an
increasing number of discharge permittees are being
required to go beyond the capabilities of best avail-
able technology to protect water bodies. This ap-
proach requires states to collect new data to deter-
mine the levels of waste to be discharged into certaM
stream or near coastal water body segments.

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                                                                                                  13
 New data must be collected to identify and character-
 ize nonpoint sources of pollutants. In many of the
 nation's waterways, point source pollution is not the
 paramount threat. Six of EPA's ten regional offices
 reported in 1986 that nonpoint sources were the prin-
 cipal cause of their water quality problems.  Many
 states have longstanding problems with urban and
 agricultural nonpoint source pollutants. Other non-
 point source threats include toxic chemicals from
 pesticide runoff and seepage from hazardous waste
 site;;. Nonpoint sources of all kinds also contribute
 heavily to the degradation of estuaries and other near
 coastal waters.

 Data must also be collected to demonstrate the envi-
 ronmental results of our nation's pollution control in-
I vestments. The EPA wants to manage for environ-
'mental results, basing  control decisions on an analy-
 sis of the degree of expected improvement in environ-
 mental quality. This type of decision making requires
 evaluation of past control actions to see whether they
 have had the intended effect. Surface water pro-
 grams generally do not conduct follow-up monitoring
 to assess the effectiveness of control actions. EPA
 has therefore found it difficult to assemble evidence
 showing the efficacy of the nation's multibillion-dollar
 investment in grants to states for construction of
 wast 9water treatment plants.

 It is clear that the EPA's new data needs are not
 limited to a single office within the water program.
 The Office of Water Enforcement and Permits re-
 quires data to support and implement permitting
 decisions. The Office of Water Regulations and
 Standards requires data to support the development
 of water quality criteria and standards.  The Office of
 Marine and Estuarine Protection requires data to
 support the National Estuary Program,  Near Coastal
 Waters Program, and Ocean Dumping  Program.
 Other water offices—Ground Water Protection. Drink-
 ing Water, Municipal Pollution Control, and Wetlands
 Protection—all have unmet data needs. Data col-
klected by citizen volunteers may fill some of the gaps.
How can citizen volunteers help?  This conference is
a first step in organizing a network of citizen volun-
teers who can work with the states to meet their data
needs. Citizen groups can support state and EPA
efforts in several ways. Citizens can provide environ-
mental data They can educate people about the
dimensions of pollution problems that affect their
lives, and they can serve as facilitators for open dis-
cussion about water pollution problems. Citizen
groups can also help build the local and regional po-
litical will needed to support effective actions.

EPA wants to develop guidelines to encourage the
formation of new citizen volunteer monitoring pro-
grams.  This conference will help us put together
guidelines by identifying:  what has worked well and
what hasn't; how the most effective programs are
organized, funded, and managed; and what problems
have been encountered and how they have been
overcome.

EPA is interested in assessing the likely costs and
benefits of well-run citizen monitoring programs.  We
are interested in determining how these programs
contribute to improved cost effectiveness in problem
identification and trend assessment. We also want to
investigate the feasibility of incorporating citizen
monitoring groups into the states' formal water body
assessment process.

One of our major projects for 1989 is to develop guid-
ance for model state water monitoring programs, and
this would be a great opportunity to outline specifi-
cally the role of citizen monitoring.  The proceedings
of this conference will provide state and EPA manag-
ers with better understanding of how volunteer data
can be used to support their decisions.  I encourage
you to think hard over the next day of this conference,
to engage your colleagues in discussion and debate
on how citizen monitoring programs can be structured
to meet our data needs and involve the public in envi-
ronmental decision making.  I welcome your interest
and I look forward to hearing the results of your con-
ference.

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 14
 Workshop  Findings
 1) Citizen volunteers can be a valuable resource for
 many types of monitoring as long as they are well
 managed and the program is thoroughly planned.
 They can assist government agencies and research-
 ers by:

 * collecting information for the characterization of a
 resource, i.e., baseline data to identify waters of ex-
 ceptional quality for protection or to determine
 seasonal changes;
 • providing more frequent sampling and time-variable
 sampling of storms and algae blooms;
 • recording observations on number and size of fish
 kills, amount of precipitation, number of fish caught
 by recreational fishermen;
 * ground truthing of remote sensing data;
 * collecting and/or delivering samples for laboratory
 analysis;
 • helping to assess water bodies that are not being
 monitored when samples or observations are needed
 from remote locations or from private property.

 2) Volunteer monitoring programs are not a substitute
 for government agency responsibilities.  However,
 citizens can be involved in planning and policy devel-
 opment and can assist national, state, and local
 officials by:

 • critiquing local proposals for development;
 * acting as "expert witnesses" using trend data and
 information on past practices and conditions in a
 given area;
 * focusing attention on emerging issues;
 • forming constituencies for legislative initiatives or
 political actions;
 • influencing local action or ordinances.

3} Citizens can act as "watch dogs" to ensure full im-
plementation and enforcement of environmental regu-
lations. They can:

 • inventory or "red flag" illegal pipes or discharges,
dumping sites, etc.;
• provide observations of excessive erosion, failed
sediment control structures, etc.;
• compile data collected for compliance with NPDES
permits.

4) Volunteer monitoring provides a valuable link to the
local community and an opportunity for raising public
awareness of environmental issues. Adopt a Stream,
Beach, Lake, etc. projects can instill a sense of ste-
wardship and a conservation ethic in participants and
help make the environment cleaner and safer.

5) Citizen volunteers can be very effective in conduct-
ing special projects such as shoreline  cleanups,
ground truthing for submerged aquatic vegetation,
wetland inventories, and other surveys. They can help
researchers by collecting samples in remote locations^
and by making observations at frequent intervals.

6) Volunteer monitoring is cost-effective but is not free.
A well-coordinated and quality-controlled project re-
quires dedicated professional staff support.

7) Information exchange among citizen monitoring
groups can  enhance current programs and facilitate
expansion of new ones. Information needs include:

• a list of volunteer monitoring programs, updated
annually;
• a newsletter that describes new programs, new tech-
niques, and new educational material with a complete
watershed focus that includes upland  and coastal
habitats;
• a standard methods manual for sampling procedures
that can be used by volunteers and that meet U.S.
EPA specifications;
• a coordinator handbook that includes start-up infor-
mation, financing suggestions, strategies for media re-
lations, etc.;
• a biennial national conference;
• regional workshops;
• a bibliography of materials, references,  videos,
slide shows, etc.

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                                                                                            IS
 Flecommendations  to  EPA
 1) Publicly endorse and encourage the use of citizen
 volunteers to collect and process information for as-
 seeing the status of the nation's environment.

 2) Adopt policies that encourage states to develop
 and utilize citizen monitoring programs to help carry
 out: their mandates for environmental monitoring as
 delegated from EPA under the Clean Water Act and
 the MARPOL Act.

 3) Direct regional offices and research laboratories to
 su|>port citizen monitoring activities by offering techni-
 cal assistance: providing quality assurance/quality
 control for sampling programs; training citizen volun-
 teers in the areas of sampling techniques and proto-
 cols, data reduction, and analysis; and establishing a
 communication network among volunteer programs
 within a region.

 4) Validate its endorsement and unify its approach to
 citizen monitoring by establishing a full-time staff po-
 sition, directly reporting to the Administrator of the
 Office of Water, with the primary responsibility for
 coordinating and enhancing citizen monitoring pro-
 grcims throughout the country.

 To carry out these recommendations, EPA should
 take the following actions:
Public Endorsement

1) Highlight successful citizen monitoring programs
through national promotions. This could involve
press releases, feature articles in resource manage-
ment magazines and journals as well as in-house
puWications, and other types of recognition.

2} Commend current citizen monitoring programs by
issuing letters of commendation recognizing each
program's contributions to the knowledge and under-
standing of the environment.
3) Sponsor annual conferences for information ex-
change among citizen monitoring programs. This
should alternate from year to year between a national
conference focusing on professional development of
program managers, and a series of regional work-
shops to provide training and encourage networking
among programs in the same region in the country.

4) Sponsor a national networking newsletter with
briefs on new programs and techniques, and notices
of workshops and meetings.
Policy Development

1) Authorize states to use some portion of the federal
funds provided under appropriate sections of the
Clean Water Act for developing and implementing
citizen monitoring programs. Encourage states to
use volunteer monitoring results as part of the bien-
nial State of States' Waters Reports.

2) Request each state to designate a contact person
to work with volunteer citizen monitoring program
coordinators in that state, and encourage the states
to recognize that this is more than a nominal designa-
tion—that a substantial amount of effort is required to
develop and manage citizen monitoring programs
and effectively utilize the data generated by such pro-
grams.

3) Develop a guidance document for state program
managers with practical advice to assist them in
successful recruitment of volunteers and manage-
ment of citizen monitoring programs.

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 16
 Technical Support

 1} Request that the Office of Research and Develop-
 ment provide guidance to regional ESD laboratories
 and research laboratories on the types of activities
 that are appropriate for citizen monitoring programs.
 Such technical support activities may include training
 volunteer program coordinators, demonstrating lab
 techniques, providing statistical analysis and data
 management, analyzing samples, assisting with
 quality assurance, and developing new techniques.

 2) Develop training manuals and seminars for training
 citizen volunteers in sample collection and analysis;
data reduction, analysis, and interpretation; and ef-
fective communication of results to resource manag-
ers and the public.

3} Develop a standard methods manual that is appro-
priate for volunteer sampling and analytical proce-
dures and is written in clear, concise language.
National Coordinator

The person filling the position of national coordinator
for citizen monitoring programs should have a formal
background in environmental sciences and experi-
ence in community organizing for public service. This
person would be more than a public participation staff
person. His/her responsibilities would include:

1) enhancing opportunities for citizen monitoring pro-
grams within EPA headquarters and among the
regional offices;

2) fostering communication among citizen monitoring
projects and among federal agencies (i.e., EPA,
NOAA, Fish & Wildlife Service, Army Corps of Engi-
neers. TV A, Department of Agriculture, and others);

3) Forging new links between citizen monitoring and
EPA program initiatives in fresh water, estuarine, and
marine environments around the country;

4) Providing technical assistance to states and EPA
regional offices. Upon request, working with local
managers to help them plan, structure, and initiate
volunteer monitoring programs that are tailored to the
needs of the local region.

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