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3RQ organizations share stories during second session of 3RQ Virtual Roundtable Series

3RQ hosted the second in a three part Virtual Roundtable Series on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021. During this session, we heard from four watershed based groups spanning from rural West Virginia to Pittsburgh that also serve as 3RQ volunteer organizations. Each watershed is truly unique in its challenges, opportunities, and interests. Our presenters demonstrated that with their diverse range of projects and initiatives.

Session Highlights:

  • Jacobs Creek Watershed Association keeps busy with current projects in stormwater management, water quality monitoring, recreation, education, and recently their first AMD treatment project! According to Taylor Robbins, Program Coordinator, JCWA utilizes WATERS to store data collected during their monthly monitoring, share results with the public, and easily view data in chart form.  To promote recreation in the area, JCWA provides kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes for members to use, hosts a community float and fishing derby, and recently installed a river gauge for enthusiasts to check water level and temperature before venturing out.
  • The Washington County Watershed Alliance completed an eight year data logger program that collected continuous data at 25 sites throughout Washington County and provided experience to 14 college students. Jennifer Dann, WCWA Treasurer, expressed that utilizing the WATERS database to store data was integral to the success of this undertaking. The project collected an impressive set of baseline data and showed unexpected water quality results for several streams. One piece of advice Dann offers for anyone before initiating a data logger program is to not underestimate the amount of time and effort it requires.
  • Guardians of the West Fork, spanning three counties in North Central West Virginia, is an all volunteer organization, headed by president John Ciesla, with a large focus on AMD treatment, trash cleanups, and water recreation. Following the 2016 removal of three low head dams, GWF began an annual community river float along the 75 mile West Fork River Water Trail. Other recreation projects include constant work to establish more boat access sites and working with towns to connect their assets to the river in their Trail Towns initiative.
  • Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, an urban watershed in Pittsburgh, is tackling climate justice issues, green infrastructure projects, volunteer maintenance of Frick Park, and stream monitoring. According to Lindsey-Rose Flowers, Community Engagement Manager, four largescale green infrastructure projects they are in the final planning stages of will likely capture over one million gallons of stormwater each year! Check out this interactive story map to see how they incorporated public health, social vulnerability, environmental quality, and the urban landscape into their project site determinations.

Slides from each presentation are available here: Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, Washington County Watershed Alliance, Guardians of the West Fork, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association

The event was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the work of these groups, share advice and lessons learned with one another, and make new connections. We are looking forward to hearing from four more groups in the third and final session of this series, to be hosted on Wednesday, February 3rd from 2:00 - 3:00 pm. To register, visit 3rq-roundtable-series.eventbrite.com.

To learn more about 3RQ and our free data tools, watch the recording of Session 1: 3RQ Information Session.

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