Merrimack River Safe Beaches Project 2011 Summary Report

Stony Brook Assessment: Final Report (download PDF)
This final report presents the results of the Stony Brook Watershed Assessment, conducted by the Merrimack River Watershed Council. The goal of the watershed assessment was to draw on existing data sources to develop a “state of the watershed” report that evaluates the key factors influencing the health of the watershed and makes recommendations for improving protection and restoration of the watershed.

2009 Annual Report – Merrimack River Monitoring Program
The Merrimack River Monitoring Program is a volunteer water quality monitoring effort begun in 2007 to collect baseline water quality information in the 50-mile mainstem of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts.  Since its inception the program has expanded geographically to include monitoring in southern New Hampshire and programmatically to incorporate additional water quality parameters.  In 2009, 40 Merrimack Valley community members volunteered with the Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) to collect water quality data at 41 sites along the length of the river.

Characteristics of a successful Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program (download PDF)
This report outlines a successful volunteer monitoring program broken down by organizational and technical topics. Sub-topics include the program mission, community support, funding, leadership, data use, community outreach, and public education.

VEMN Merrimack River Watershed Study Design Workbook (download PDF)
The guidelines laid our in this handbook are designed to help citizen groups build effective local programs that also contribute to enhancing the watershed-wide health of the Merrimack basin.  This product will guide any monitoring group through the basics of designing a scientific monitoring program and study design. It includes issues and questions that are commonly addressed through volunteer monitoring, a guide with worksheets on how to do a scientific study design, a system for matching data users and uses with a potential user group’s own data quality goals guide also cross references to sections of a QAPP – Quality Assurance Project Plan.

VEMN Training Manual of Core Monitoring Parameters and Methods (download PDF)
This manual describes the three basic types of monitoring studies recommended by the VEMN for all volunteer monitoring groups in the Merrimack River Watershed.  The three studies are:

  • Watershed assessment,
  • Water quality standards assessment,
  • and Health risk assessment.

The manual includes all aspects of how to accomplish all three of these assessments including how to take water samples and complete lab analysis as well as where to go for help. Parameters include E. coli / fecal coliform, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and water clarity. It also explains where data may be used if following all guidelines described in the manual.

VEMN Guide to Volunteer Watershed Monitoring Options in the Merrimack River Watershed (download PDF)
This document supplies monitoring groups with some off-the-shelf monitoring study design in order to help them start programs which collect data of a quality that it could be used by state and local government of for educational purposes.  it is intended to be an expandable library to which new study designs may be added as they are used in the watershed by volunteer groups. The menu includes study designs for doing a watershed assessment, a water quality standards assessment, a health risk assessment, a habitat assessment, a non-point source pollution site evaluation, a non-point source pollution impact assessment for agriculture, a waste water treatment plant impact assessment and a simple baseline assessment for rivers and lakes. The study design does the following: explain the questions and issues that each addresses, explains who can use the information collected and for what purpose, describes indicators that should be used and reference the collection and analysis methods, explains the types of water bodies for which each study may be used, describes the necessary quality control, explains site selection considerations, frequency and timing of sampling and outline training requirement for each study.

VEMN Standard Format For Reporting Monitoring Data (download PDF)
Basic Outline of a standardized report format. 4pp