Baywatchers-Water Quality Monitors/ Citizen Scientists Needed!


Cause Areas


Fri Apr 01, 2016 06:00 AM - Sat Sep 30, 2017 09:00 AM


114 Front StreetNew Bedford, MA 02740

A volunteer collects data to help determine the health of Buzzards Bay


Baywatchers are local people that help assess and evaluate water quality and long-term ecological trends in each of Buzzards Bay's harbors and coves from Westport to Woods Hole. Each year over 100 volunteers are trained to measure water quality at nearly 130 places Bay-wide. The purpose of the program is to: Establish baseline water quality in approximately 30 harbors and coves. Document long-term trends in water quality. Evaluate the success of clean-up efforts. A program of this magnitude is unique to the Greater New Bedford area and it could not be accomplished without the dedication of volunteer citizens. There are three main pollutants of concern in Buzzards Bay: 1. nutrients, 2. pathogens (bacteria) and viruses, 3. toxins (PCBs, metals). The Baywatchers program is focused on nutrients and the effect that excessive nutrient quantities have on the health of the water. A typical Baywatcher volunteer will attend a spring training session to learn the proper sampling techniques and will receive a training manual, sampling kit, the necessary sampling procedures/protocols, and data sheets. Once properly trained the Baywatcher will then monitor one site once a week for about 40 minutes, sometime between 6:00-9:00 A.M. from May through September. The site will be monitored for basic parameters such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, salinity, and water clarity. Four times during the sampling season the Baywatcher will also collect water samples that will be analyzed in a Marine Biological Ecosystems laboratory for nutrient concentrations. A strong science background is not necessary. However, a good Baywatcher is someone who can consistently commit one hour between 6:00-9:00 AM each week from May-September, follow scientific instructions, and is agile enough to work on docks and piers.


  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Policy

Good Match For

Teens People 55+

Requirements & Commitment

  • Must be at least 16
  • Orientation or Training
  • 1 - 2 hours per week

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