Concord, NH – From June 24 until July 16, 2006, volunteers participating in the Great North American Secchi Dip-In will be collecting transparency data in the United States and Canada. Since the Dip-In began in 1994 in six Midwest states it has expanded to participation by more than 375 programs and 6,000 volunteers in the US, Canada, and several other countries. The Dip-In has generated more than 30,000 water transparency records that are used to map regional differences in transparency and to detect trends in transparency. These volunteers routinely monitor all types of waterbodies, including lakes, streams, and estuaries, as a part of their normal monitoring program.
The previous Dip-In’s have provided valuable information about water quality. The maps made each year have shown considerable regional differences in transparency. Lakes in the northern parts of the United States and in Canada typically have the clearest lakes, while lakes in agricultural regions of the Midwest have some of the smallest transparencies. Transparencies found during the Dip-In range from one inch to more than 65 feet. Almost 1,000 bodies of water have been monitored during the Dip-In for five or more years.
Results from the Secchi Dip-In will be sent to Kent State University for entry into a national database. New Hampshire has consistently ranked very high in its lake water clarity compared to other states, usually ranking in the top five states nationwide.
To find out more about this exciting event, or to reserve a Secchi Disk, please contact Andrea Lamoreaux, the Department of Environmental Services Volunteer Lake Assessment Coordinator at (603) 271-2658, or Jody Connor, DES Limnology Center Director at (603) 271-2963. DES will collect secchi disk data from volunteers and have it submitted into the national database!
More information on the Great American Secchi Dip-In, including participating programs and state-by-state results for past Dip-Ins, is available on the World Wide Web at http//dipin.kent.edu.