Public Invited to Water Quality Monitoring Workshop  click to register

Volunteers sought to monitor streams in regions at risk of experiencing shale gas drilling

The New York Water Sentinels are looking for new volunteers to expand its stream monitoring efforts in Tioga and Broome Counties and will be hosting a stream monitoring workshop on Saturday, October 25, 2014, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 117 East Main Street in Owego, Tioga County, NY. Lunch will be provided.

Monitoring the quality of our drinking water is in the interest of everyone, regardless of one’s view on hydrofracking. The New York Water Sentinels program recruits and trains citizens to take regular water samples. During the training, participants will learn how to collect baseline data and monitor water quality using a protocol developed by the NY Water Sentinels and ALLARM.

The workshop will also include a presentation about the importance of community monitoring, the science behind shale gas drilling, and the water pollution that could stem from natural gas drilling. At the workshop, volunteers will develop  the skills to monitor, collect, and analyze stream quality data.

Registration is required by Friday, October 17, 2014, using the registration form, or by contacting: Erin Riddle,, or Scott Lauffer,

A contribution of $35 is requested to help cover the cost of training and the purchase of monitoring equipment. This sum is reimbursable to volunteers that participate in 15 sample grabs and 2 quality control procedures over a 12 month period.

The workshop will be conducted by the New York Water Sentinels, an affiliate of the Sierra Club, in cooperation with Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), based out of Dickinson College. Since June 2010, ALLARM has conducted more than 60 trainings with over 1,400 participants in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia to build community capacity to collect and analyze water quality data.

The NY Water Sentinels is a citizen science stream water monitoring program affiliated with the Sierra Club. The focus of monitoring has been on local impacts from ongoing oil and gas extraction in NY and nearby states and on collecting baseline data on stream health to defend against the onset of fracking in NY. In addition to regular monitoring for conductivity, and visual assessment, samples are submitted twice a year for quality assurance and to a certified analytical laboratory for measurement of strontium and barium, indicators of shale water.

The NY Water Sentinels work with local citizen groups, university labs, and other water testing programs to recruit, train, support, and coordinate ongoing monitoring. The training of NY Water Sentinels volunteers is conducted by ALLARM, (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring), a citizen science organization based out of Dickinson College.

Since December of 2011, the NY Water Sentinels have organized and trained 6 regional groups. To date, 160 volunteers have made over 1,500 visits to document conditions at 125 stream sites. Streams being monitored span 12 counties and 6 major watersheds across the Southern Tier. See our Project Status page for details.

Donate online using our Online Donation Page 

If you would like to pay by check, please send to: Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, PO Box 38225 Albany, NY 12203. Make your check payable to The Sierra Club Foundation and mark in the memo line that the gift is for “Atlantic Chapter Water Sentinels” or “FC4477”. Please contact Caitlin Young if you would like to take advantage of your company's gift match program. 
The NY Water Sentinels use Google Documents for meeting agendas, minutes, and other work, accessable via the following links. Those with prior permission can click 'Open in Drive' in the upper left corner then log into the Google account the documents are shared to. To request permission, email with the folder name and the email you want the files shared with.