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The Anchorage Waterways Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization whose mission is to protect, restore, and enhance the waterways, wetlands, and associated uplands of Anchorage.
We work with a large and diverse group of partners including federal and state resource agencies, local government, the business community, and individual citizens to improve the watershed environment through planning, advocacy, education, and science.
Since 1998, the Anchorage Waterways Council's Monitoring Program has trained over 150 volunteer monitors to collect baseline, water-quality data which is used to identify water quality trends and detect pollution. Volunteer monitors collect a wide array of chemical and physical data from 25 stationary creek sites, representing 11 watersheds in the Municipality of Anchorage. Without this valuable information, the ability to properly manage and protect water resources is diminished. Additionally, volunteers spend about 40 hours every year becoming familiar with their creeks, and in the process become creeks advocates.
The AWC completed a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) in 2002 which was then approved by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and the EPA in early 2003. This QAPP assures that our volunteer data collection methods yield results comparable to those obtained by professional monitoring methods. By holding the Stream Team to this level of data accuracy we have added a level of scientific credibility and ensured that the data collected by volunteers is reliable and useful to resource managers.
The data collected by our volunteers is available to the public and all resource agencies. The State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) continues to use the data we collected to help them manage our water resources.
- Kate Malloy
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