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 Volunteer to investigate local lakes or streams!

We don't have enough monitoring equipment to collect data from the 11,842 lakes in Minnesota, so your help is needed!
Volunteers can collect lake and stream information to identify potential problems and provide vital information about long-term water quality trends. These findings aid decision-makers and resource managers in selecting appropriate courses of action.

Lake Monitoring Programs:

Lake Minnetonka Association (Lake Minnetonka)
Citizen volunteers who live on or near Lake Minnetonka can collect water quality data and make observations of wildlife, weather events, or aquatic plants on Lake Minnetonka.
Contact: Dick Osgood, LMA Executive Director, (952) 470-4449

Lake Level Minnesota (Statewide)

Volunteers and cooperative organizations can report on the water level of lakes throughout the state in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This information about the history of lake level fluctuations helps with problems such as flooding, drought, and lakeshore erosion.
Contact: DNR Waters, (651) 296-4800

Citizen Lake-Monitoring Program (Statewide)

Volunteers can work with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to collect water clarity readings from a lake once a week during the summer.
Contact: Jennifer Klang, MPCA CLMP Coordinator, (651) 282-2618

River Monitoring Programs:

Hennepin Conservation District River Watch Program (Hennepin County)

The Hennepin Conservation District River Watch Program provides hands-on environmental education for high school and college students, promotes river stewardship, and obtains water quality information on streams in Hennepin County. Student volunteers collect stream organisms and assess habitat characteristics twice a year using National River Watch Network methods.
Contact: Tim Reese, HCD Environmental Education Coordinator
(763) 420-2157        email:

Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnership (Twin Cities Metro Area)
Volunteers visit a site twice a year collecting water samples or stream organisms to determine the water quality. Funded by the Metropolitan Council, coordinators support monitoring activities ensuring quality data collection and provide networking between volunteers.
Contact: Mary Gullickson or Kevin Proescholdt, VSMP Coordinators, (612) 624-9282

Citizen Stream Monitoring Program (Statewide)

Volunteers visit an established spot on a nearby stream and measure transparency, appearance, precipitation, and stream stage.
Contact: Laurie Sovell, MPCA CSMP Coordinator, (800) 657-3864

More Information about Volunteer Monitoring

Environmental Protection Agency: Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring
Volunteer Monitoring Groups On-Line

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