Water Watchers Program

What Water Watchers Do

Doc Taylor preparing to sample the water on a 3 degree F kind of day.

Doc Taylor preparing to sample the water on a 3 degree F kind of day.

Falmouth Water Stewards invites Falmouth citizens to take an active role in monitoring the well-being of their local water bodies by joining our new Water Watchers Program.  Water Watcher tasks can include any or all of the following:

  • Filling out a survey on a regular basis (e.g., once a week or once a month, depending on your interest) — online or on paper — on topics such as recent observed changes, algal blooms,  unusual smells, concerns, or wildlife activity. See our survey by clicking on the green button to the right or email us and request a .pdf version.  Please note the survey form functions on smartphones so if you have your phone with you in the field you can submit it from there.
  • Taking photos of your water body on a monthly or seasonal basis, or when issues arise, and sharing them on an online forum hosted by FWS. We are still working on how to store and organize photos online. As of October 2015, we are not able to accept photos. But please take them and hold on to them — we expect to have a method for uploading, storing and tagging them soon.
  • Helping with trash pick-up in your area, helping to organize a trash pick-up activity, or alerting FWS of the need for such an activity.
  • Adopting a storm drain, committing to monitor it regularly, and alerting the Falmouth HIghway Department at (508) 457-2543 if you notice that it is clogged/malfunctioning.
  • Using water quality monitoring equipment to monitor certain parameters of water health, such as dissolved oxygen levels, temperature, and water clarity. As of October 2015, we do not yet have monitoring equipment for the Water Watchers program, but depending on interest on the part of Water Watchers and funding, we plan to purchase some equipment in the near future. 

What Happens to the Data Collected?

FWS is working on developing an online profile of each water body in Falmouth with the help of our stewards and other volunteers. We hope to build a system in which the data collected by citizen scientists is accessible in two ways:

1. By water body, such that one can go to the specific water body on our site and then browse and search observations and photos associated with that water body.

2. By topic of interest,  where visitors can input terms of interest to a search bar and retrieve relevant results from the body of collected data.

Join Us!

To sign up to participate in the Water Watchers Program, click the blue button at the top right of this page or contact us. If you’re already a registered water steward and would like to upload observations, click on the green button at the top right of this page or contact us to be sent an .pdf printed or printable version of the form. If you simply have suggestions or questions, contact us. We would love to hear from you!

buttonstewardsignup buttonregisterbewatersteward 

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT AN OBSERVATION FORM HERE

Where Do We Monitor?

monitoring_locations041312016The Falmouth Water Stewards Water Watchers monitor ponds and lakes throughout Falmouth.  Visit our monitoring sites to see what our observers are recording:

Cedar Lake
Coonamessett River and Great Pond
Crocker Pond
Flax Pond
Ice House (Miles) Pond
Mares Pond
Perch Pond
Salt Pond, Oyster Pond, and Vineyard Sound
Turtle Pond
West Falmouth Harbor
Wing Pond

As a Water Steward you will:
  • Add to a body of data about how our ponds, estuaries and rivers are used by people and wildlife and how they change over time.
  • Help ensure that concerns with a particular water body are identified and brought to the attention of officials promptly.
  • Play an important role in ensuring the continuation of an ecologically and economically vibrant Falmouth.