In 1998, 17 volunteers began monitoring the health of 22 streams sites in southeast Minnesota. Today, more than 400 volunteers monitor 500 stream sites across the state as part of the Citizen Stream Monitoring program. The data is indispensable to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Volunteers adopt a stream site, use a simple tool called a Secchi tube to measure water clarity and track how clear the water is every week during the summer. They report their findings and observations to the MPCA. The agency uses the information to determine whether the streams meet water quality standards designed to make sure those streams are fishable and swimmable.   To read more on this story, find out how to get involved and access a video on the program, go to