To measure the health of our waters and to learn how to protect them, there are several programs at DES that provide training, monitoring equipment, and data interpretation for local volunteers. The NH Volunteer River Assessment Program (VRAP), the NH Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP), and Weed Watchers are several examples of DES pro-grams that train volunteers to collect valuable information about New Hampshire waters. These monitoring efforts help answer such questions as: How clean are our waters? How are our lakes and rivers changing? What should be done to protect our water quality? Volunteer water quality monitoring of lakes and rivers typically runs from June to August and can continue into October.
Across New Hampshire, volunteers trained by DES staff are helping to monitor and protect the state's natural resources. Here, participants in DES's VLAP program use a Kemmerer bottle to sample lake water. Their efforts serve to profile and track the quality of this waterbody by providing valuable data.
The Pepperweed Patrol is a volunteer effort to find and eradicate the invasive perennial, pepperweed, from coastal areas before it becomes a problem. In the last decade, pepperweed has been found in salt marsh edges, along roadsides, and in drainage ditches in Newburyport, Mass., and is spreading northward. The goal of the Pepperweed Patrol is early detection, rapid response!