Our recent Salt Watch Program Kickoff was a big success, with 28 participants attending – including families, high school teachers, teenagers and retirees. The Kickoff started with an overview of the Salt Watch program and a review of our last two years of data. Participants then divided into smaller groups and worked on a simulated testing event, where they used test strips to determine the chloride concentration of stream water and practiced filling out a data collection form.
The program boasts nearly 50 volunteers, who are monitoring over 40 sites on 14 area streams, such as Tuscarora Creek, Cattail Branch, Goose Creek and Broad Run. Salt Watch volunteers work together to monitor sites year-round, both monthly and after winter weather events when the roads are treated with salt or brine.
Data collected by volunteers is uploaded to the nationwide Clean Water Hub and to the Izaak Walton League of America’s nationwide Salt Watch map. Loudoun Wildlife plans to use this data to raise awareness about the connection between salt and stream health, identify salt pollution hot spots in our local streams, and as a basis for educational outreach and advocacy efforts for smarter salting practices.
We are grateful to our Salt Watch partner, the Izaak Walton League of America, who provides testing strips to our volunteers free of charge.