Keeping the exceptional water quality and cleanliness of the Whitewater River is very important to us. Friends of Whitewater River Foundation volunteers take monthly water samples at set locations on the lower section of the Whitewater River that flows through the state of Ohio.
This water quality monitoring program that we involve ourselves with is a collaborative volunteer effort that is supported by Rivers Unlimited and Friends of the Great Miami, and sponsored in part by the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies.
The goal of this collaboration is twofold: the first purpose is to educate the citizens of the watershed about water quality issues to encourage protection of the lower Great Miami River and its tributaries (Whitewater River)as a valuable natural resource. The second objective is to provide quality data that meet EPA reportable standards.
Volunteers are the heart of this program and offer a personal connection with the streams we
monitor, strengthening this program. Spending time on the water gives volunteers the opportunity
to learn about water quality while collecting valuable data. The importance of volunteer monitoring and the data collected through groups such as ours is evident by the enactment of Ohio HB43; the primary reason for the legislation is the concept that the State of Ohio should have as much good scientific
information about our surface waters as possible in order to properly manage them.
Goals of Citizens’ Water Quality Monitoring Program of Rivers Unlimited
*Educate the local community about water quality issues to encourage protection of our watershed
*Establish baseline data
*Supplement water quality data collected by agencies
*Document water quality changes over time (trends in water quality)
*Identify potential water quality problems
*Provide a scientific basis for making decisions on watershed management
*Provide information to evaluate the effectiveness of best management practices
*Determine the impact of land use activity (urban, industrial, agricultural, etc.)
Another way of keeping our river clean is being done on a daily basis by one of our sponsors. Green Acres Canoe Rental has partnered with RiverWorks Discovery to offer a river scavenger hunt and reward children with an otter patch upon completion. The RiverWorks Discovery otter patch and scavenger hunt is sponsored by Westway Group. RiverWorks Discovery (RWD) is a national education outreach effort of the National Rivers Hall of Fame located at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa. The program teaches children and their families about the commerce, culture and conservation of America's rivers and their watersheds.
Each child that takes a river trip is offered a bright orange bag emblazoned with “Winners Wear Lifejackets” on one side and “Pack it In, Pack it Out” on the other. The bag includes the scavenger hunt, a children's activity book from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a temporary fish tattoo from the Ohio Dept. of Wildlife, a sticker from the Safe Boating Campaign, and a river map that was created by the Ohio EPA that has information about the Whitewater River and its exceptional water quality and cleanliness.
Youngsters are also given one other item, along with suggestions for personal actions to help keep the rivers clean. The item is a reusable mesh bag and the advice is to bring it back with litter collected on their trip. Children are also rewarded free ice cream. If the family brings back a tire, they all get rewarded with free rounds of mini-golf. Efforts like these have made the river cleaner than it has been in generations. During the 2011 season there were 245 tires removed along with over 18,000lbs. of metals. Over an 8 year period, well over 1,000 tires have been removed from just an 8 mile section of river. Yes, they also found the kitchen sink.