Rock River Coalition
Our mission is to educate and provide opportunities for people of diverse interests to work together to improve environmental, recreational, cultural, and economic resources of the Rock River Basin.
RRC uses volunteers to do the work to improve water quality, as well as build community around the issues facing the Rock River Basin.
RCC started a citizen science, volunteer-based Stream Monitoring Program in 2002. With 2,932 miles of streams in the Wisconsin portion of the Rock River Basin, this necessary contribution to water quality efforts provides a more nuanced understanding of changing conditions in the watershed. In 2019, over 175 volunteers monitor 115 stream stations on a monthly basis for dissolved oxygen concentrations, stream temperature, water clarity, streamflow, and biotic community. In addition, at 58 stream stations, volunteers collect nutrient samples with samples tested for total phosphorus, total suspended solids, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate/nitrite, and ortho-phosphorus.
Southern Wisconsin waterways are challenged by increased flooding; blue-green algae blooms which interfere with swimming, silent boating sports, fishing and negatively affect wildlife; high nutrient levels; nitrates in drinking water as well as invasive species.
Our volunteers enter the data they collect directly into the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) database, which is then used to assess stream health. WDNR and USGS do not have the resources to collect data in every Wisconsin stream. For many of our streams, the only data collected is by RRC citizen stream monitors. For most streams, being classified as impaired is the impetus for improving stream health. In addition, our volunteers have been first reporters of new invasive species and identifiers of impacts to water that alerted officials to take corrective action. Volunteer stream monitors require orientation, ongoing training, monitoring, proper equipment, and oversight of data collected.
We are looking for 1-2 Board members. Each Board member collects and edits articles once a year for our newsletter (that is produced 3 times a year). Typically, Board members contribute their talents to a committee, project, or activity including:
- Advocate for the Rock River Coalition, including programming, volunteering, and funding.
- Look for opportunities to expand our touch throughout the basin, across ages, demographics, and organizations.
- Perform various fundraising activities including but not limited to annual appeal for membership.
- Chapter board liaison; currently, the RRC has three chapters and each chapter needs a liaison.
- Recruit new board members (including finding your own replacement)
- Work on the website and/or social media.
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