Bayou Citizen Science Program

Needs and Benefits for the Bayou Citizen Science Program

Clean water is fundamental to the health of the bayous and other streams, for fish and wildlife and for human recreation.  Most of the streams in the area have been identified as impaired for contact recreation, due to high levels of the kinds of bacteria that are indicators of human health risk.  Many streams have other water quality impairments affecting fish and wildlife, such as low dissolved oxygen and/or high levels of nutrients. While water quality is generally improving in the region’s streams, much remains to be done for our waters to meet the “fishable and swimmable” goals of the Clean Water Act.

Meeting the Goals of the Bayou Preservation Association through the Bayou Citizen Science Program

The primary goal of Bayou Preservation Association’s Bayou Citizen Science Program is to improve bayou water quality by engaging citizens in providing valuable quantitative data and qualitative information, both to inform the public and to support actions by the local and regional authorities that have the responsibility and authority to improve water quality.

The Bayou Citizen Science Program supports the Bayou Preservation Association’s Stewardship goal:   Increase stewardship and stewardship opportunities to improve the health of our watersheds, creeks and bayous.  The Bayou Citizen Science Program also supports the Bayou Preservation Association’s Education and Outreach goal:  Increase understanding of area bayous and creeks and their watersheds.

Program Objectives and Key Components of the
Bayou Citizen Science Program

  • Provide quality-assured quantitative data and information for water quality managers, by developing a certified volunteer citizen science program for the Bayou Preservation Tier One watersheds, in partnership with H-GAC, and coordinating with other water quality monitors and managers in the region. 
  • Engage citizens in expanding known water quality data and information, by recruiting and training certified volunteer monitors, from among members, watershed representatives, related organizations, and the general public.
  • Inform the public, decision-makers, and funding partners, about water quality, by providing presentations, workshops, and/or reports about Bayou Preservation’s Citizen Science Program, the status of water quality in their watersheds, and other tools for citizen reporting of water quality conditions.
  • Deliver “move-the-needle” improvements in bacteria-impaired streams, through intensive bacteria monitoring projects, with follow-up, within the B.I.G. implementation area, primarily conducted with college student interns.