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!
Be sure to select WHEP under volunteer areas of interest!
For more information, please visit the WHEP website, www.mnwhep.org. More information about the sites monitored in the Elm Creek watershed can be found in the Annual Reports. Due to COVID-19. the WHEP program was not active in 2020.
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. Teal Lake in Maple Grove was monitored through CAMP in 2020.
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 Environment and Energy (HCEE). Available from HCEE are the River Watch Annual Reports which include results from all of the Hennepin County monitoring sites. They can be found on the Hennepin County website at www.co.hennepin.mn.us. Search "River Watch." Due to COVID-19. the River Watch program was not active in 2020.
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.
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: