Tidewater Watch was created in 1988 to monitor water quality and shellfish habitat, using citizen volunteers, high school students, and professional aquaculturists who look to the river for their livelihood. The local aquaculture businesses rely on the reports of clean water to gain consumer confidence in their commercially grown products.
Today the program has expanded to include taking a set of water samples (over forty sites are sampled along the river) for the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) in Boothbay. The data is included in a state-wide water quality analysis conducted by the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Clean Water Program and the State Planning Office. The collected data is reformatted and shared with the Department of Environmental Protection. The goal is to report on water quality trends to state resource managers.
Organizing this group of over thirty hard working volunteers for DRA’s most active committee is no easy feat. Leadership has been provided by a core group of dedicated individuals who meet the first Thursday night of each month. Volunteer boat operators are in action twice a month from April through November. Water samplers must be certified at scheduled clinics given a few times a season. Call the office if you would like to get involved 563-1393.