Why Sample Rivers?
Rivers naturally contain minerals, metals and nutrients. However, human activities have led to increases of chemicals beyond those which occur naturally. This has a knock-on effect on the ecology of the river system, affecting life cycles of invertebrates, fish and mammals.
Sampling provides up-to-date data which can be compared to previous results to show how the state of a watercourse is changing over time.
Without it, we have nothing to compare a sample with and we tend to shift the baseline to what we see at the time. With decreasing frequency of statutory sampling, it is becoming more important to have educated citizens with eyes and ears on the ground who know their local rivers well.
Even when you are seeing good results every time it is important to keep collecting the data as it all contributes to understanding causes and effects. Visiting your river regularly will ensure you flag up quality decreases early, allowing intervention which may solve the problem before it gets too bad.
Being a citizen scientist out in the environment is not only beneficial for collecting data but also has been shown to give your health and wellbeing a boost.
Why not join the growing community of Westcountry Rivers Trust CSI River Keepers and gain benefits for you and your waterway – it’ll be fun and informative and you’ll be helping nature too.