What is Streamkeepers?

Streamkeepers, a citizen-based watershed monitoring program of Clallam County's Department of Community Development, provides volunteer opportunities and project assistance in the effort to protect and restore our local watersheds.

What We Are

  • A scientific organization providing monitoring and data-management assistance toward the protection and restoration of local waterbodies
  • A volunteer opportunity for residents interested in Citizen Science and stewardship

Program Goals

  • Monitor local streams, and gather quality data to guide management decisions
    • Describe current watershed conditions
    • Identify trends
    • Track known problem areas
    • Screen for potential problems
    • Help determine watershed restoration priorities
    • Monitor the effectiveness of watershed restoration and protection projects
  • Report the information to a variety of audiences
  • Facilitate public involvement in Citizen Science and stewardship

What We Do

Our stream teams perform regular quarterly monitoring at established sites on local streams, measuring aspects of stream health such as the quality of the water, the diversity of life forms, and the integrity of the physical habitat, under an approved Quality Assurance Project Plan. In addition, we conduct stream walks, teach about watershed stewardship in the greater community, and manage and analyze data related to water quality and other aspects of stream health.

We also perform and assist with special projects by other organizations-cities, tribes, NGOs, and other agencies-including monitoring water quality and flow, grabbing stormwater samples, collecting stream invertebrates, tracking salmon spawning and rearing activity, replanting riparian areas, and tracking and controlling invasive species.

What We Measure

We train volunteers to assess a variety of biological, physical, and chemical stream health indicators through a structured quarterly monitoring program.

Biological Health

  • Benthic macroinvertebrates ("stream bugs")
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Noxious weeds
  • Bacteria

Chemical Health

  • Temperature
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Conductivity/Salinity
  • Turbidity
  • pH
  • Nutrients

Physical Health

  • Stream walks
  • Photographs
  • Reach maps
  • Flow
  • Gradient
  • Not currently monitoring, but equipped to monitor
    • Stream cross-section
    • Erosion and revetment
    • Substrate and pools
    • Large woody debris
    • Riparian vegetation

How the Data Is Used

Data is used to establish baseline environmental conditions, identify trends in water quality, and identify pollution problems so they can be corrected. Data is submitted to the Washington Department of Ecology's Information Management System database, and Streamkeepers data then becomes a part of a much larger data set that is available to resource managers and the public for use in myriad data analysis and reporting projects. Data collected by Streamkeepers volunteers has been used to identify pollution problems that have subsequently been addressed in Port Angeles streams and Sequim area streams.

Streamkeepers Can Help on Your Watershed

Streamkeepers accepts requests from citizens, organizations, and governments in need of special services. The scope of available assistance includes:

  • Monitoring services
  • Data management and analysis
  • Outreach and education
  • Hands-on restoration work
  • Match for grants

For more details, see the Streamkeepers' Monitoring Services page.

Get Involved

Streamkeepers' annual training takes place each summer. But you can always join Streamkeepers prior to formal training and learn to perform some of the procedures "on the job."

You can begin the Volunteer Application (PDF) process at any time.