Volunteers train to monitor Neches River water quality

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Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 12:49 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:03 PM CDT
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POLLOK, Texas (KTRE) -Today the Angelina and Neches River Authority (ANRA) hosted a training workshop where volunteers worked towards earning their citizen scientist certificates to test water quality.

With these certificates, volunteers once a month will go to their designated areas along the river and test the water quality. From there, they will submit data to ANRA.

ANRA’s communications manager, Kimberly Wagner, says this is the first stream team training in East Texas.

“We are going over things such as field parameters, and we are doing some chemical parameter testing, and through these things they are going to be able to tell what the water quality is around here,” Wagner said.

She explained that the Neches River basin covers about 8,500 square miles. “That is a lot of territory to cover, so we have a lot of gaps in data on water quality, and so having citizen scientists come in to do volunteer monitoring really helps fill in gaps and identify water issues that we may be missing,” Wagner said.

One volunteer, Tonya Calderon, is a third-grade science teacher. Calderon says she is going to bring her training back to her classroom.

“I’m always looking for new projects to do with my students, and I thought this was a way to bring nature into our classroom and teach them about our water quality in the area,” Calderon said.

Calderon says being a part of the stream team is a cool project and gives her an opportunity to share this with her students. “I think that’s something we can take our data back, and we can kind of pick it apart and see some of the similarities.”

KTRE'S Avery Gorman is at the Neches River speaking about ANARA, who is training volunteers to check the water quality in the rivers.

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