In an effort to expand citizen-driven water quality data collection throughout the basin, a binational effort to recruit volunteers is underway as part of the International Watershed Coordination Program. Ontario and Minnesota have a large network of citizen scientists who collect water clarity and water quality data as part of either the Lake Partner Program (Ontario) or the Citizen Lake and Stream Monitoring Program (Minnesota). In this watershed, there are areas where there are very few or no volunteers, especially in the more remote locations.

Lake Partner Program volunteers collect total phosphorus samples and make monthly water clarity observations on their lakes during the summer months. Citizen Lake and Stream Program volunteers collect water clarity observations and, in some cases, additional water quality data. Volunteers can also become involved in sampling within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or do lake ice reporting! While volunteers are welcome anywhere, the attached map shows where they are needed most.  For more information on how to sign up to become a volunteer in Ontario, call 1-800-470-8322 or in Minnesota, call 1-651-757-2874.  Watch this great video about volunteer water quality monitoring from Cook County Soil and Water Conservation District –