The Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP) is an adult volunteer monitoring program that aims to obtain quality, usable data on wetland health and promote wetland stewardship.
Teams of volunteers under the direction of a team leader use biological field assessments to determine wetland health. Volunteers collect macroinvertebrates (spineless organisms such as leeches, snails and bugs) and perform a wetland vegetation survey following guidelines and protocols developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Volunteers are not required to have any prior experience or knowledge of wetland monitoring. Hennepin County and program partners will supply all equipment and training necessary to complete the tasks; the volunteers supply the enthusiasm!
The Stream Health Evaluation Program (SHEP) is an adult volunteer monitoring program that assesses the biological communities in streams in Hennepin County. Teams of volunteers under the direction of a team leader use biological field assessments to determine wetland health. Volunteers collect macroinvertebrates (spineless organisms such as leeches, snails and bugs) and perform a stream vegetation survey following guidelines and protocols developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Volunteers are not required to have any prior experience or knowledge of stream monitoring. Hennepin County and program partners will supply all equipment and training necessary to complete the tasks; the volunteers supply the enthusiasm!
For information on sites monitored in the area, see the SHEP Report in the 2012 Annual Report.
The Metropolitan Council’s Citizen Assisted Monitoring Program, or CAMP, is an opportunity for citizens to become more aware of the lakes in their communities. Volunteers monitor their lake every other week from April through October. The process takes a maximum of two hours a session. The Commission, through CAMP, provides training and all supplies and equipment. Volunteers provide their time, a boat, and freezer space to store their water samples for short periods of time. No special skills are required other than the ability to handle a boat. Volunteers collect water samples, record water temperature and Secchi depth, and record their observations about lake appearance, odor, and suitability for recreation. Contact the Commission’s administrative office, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to monitor your lake.
River Watch - Macroinvertebrate Monitoring
In 1995 the Commission worked with the Hennepin Conservation District (HCD) to initiate a benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring program. River Watch, as this program is now called, is used both for education and data collection. It is a goal of the Commission to sustain existing monitoring sites, gain water quality data, and promote river stewardship through teaching and project participation by students. In 2003 this program came under the guidance of the Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services (HCDES). Available from HCDES, is River Watch 2011, which includes results from all of the Hennepin County monitoring sites can be found on the Hennepin County website at www.co.hennepin.mn.us. Search "River Watch."
Students from seven schools monitor at seven locations in the Elm Creek watershed. In 2011 Kaleidoscope Charter School in Rogers participated in the River Watch program at Rush Creek site #4. Click here to view their results. If you want more information about getting your class or group involved with River Watch, please contact Mary Karius at email@example.com or call 612-596-9129. For more information about participating groups, streams monitored and a summary of the data collected, download the2012 Annual Report.
Clear Storm Drains after Snow Melts
Winter snow melt presents a special hazard to our storm drains with the accumulation of garbage and sand. Did you ever think of that storm drain in front of your home as waterfront property? Sure, the view isn’t the same, but it does connect your property to the nearest lake, river, or wetland. That’s why it’s so important to keep garbage and sand out of the storm drains. Garbage is a pollutant and sand fills up lakes and streams prematurely. If you put down salt or sand as a deicer, remember to sweep up the excess. The water – not to mention the ducks, fish and everyone else – will be healthier without it.
There are many opportunities available for citizen participation. Visit member cities' websites for more information: