The West & Rhode Riverkeeper issued its annual report card for 2015.
“The grades for water quality are up significantly,” said Riverkeeper Jeff Holland, “which means we’re making progress as the only citizen-based environmental organization dedicated solely to protecting these two rivers – the West and Rhode Rivers.”
Based on analysis of data gathered by its corps of citizen-scientist volunteers between May and October, 2015, including such parameters as water clarity, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, algae, submerged aquatic vegetation and bacteria, the rivers rated an overall “C,” up from a “D+” in 2014 and a “D” the year before.
“A ‘C’ is not good enough,” Holland said. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re heading in the right direction.”
The 11-year-old organization did not print the report card this year, but published it digitally as a PDF to save paper, ink and funds. The report card has been sent by email, published on the web site, and distributed through social media.
Holland points to actions the organization has taken over the past year to have this positive impact:
- completed a living shoreline at Camp Letts and watched horseshoe crabs crawl up the new beach to lay their eggs in this recreated habitat;
- worked with kids and families to plant trees and marsh grasses;
- coordinated park and community clean-ups;
- provided pump-out service to more than 500 recreational boats, safely disposing of 15,000 gallons of raw sewage that did not pollute the rivers;
- and advocated for sensible environmental legislation and policy.
The digital report card has dozens of hyperlinks embedded in the text to provide further information on each of the topics discussed that show readers how they can make their own positive impact on water quality.
The Riverkeeper Report Card is available for viewing and downloading at http://www.westrhoderiverkeeper.org