Are the plants and animals going to prosper because of the restoration projects?
And how will these projects affect the streams?
In spite of all of the volunteer efforts and government regulations, development pressures from expanding population continue to threaten our aquatic habitats in Clallam County. I think that it is very important for everyone to protect our environment.
There are many goals that Streamkeepers are trying to accomplish. The main goal is to provide credible data useful in protecting and restoring local watersheds. Other goals are to describe current watershed conditions, identify trends in watershed conditions, track known problem areas, and many others. The main problem that Streamkeepers are trying to fix is the damage that is being done to watershed habitat near our streams. They have many projects that help to protect water quality like planting trees to enhance the canopy along the streams and cleaning up around the streams.
I had a big role in the Streamkeepers crew. I collected data with several other students that attend The North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center. We all had assigned jobs that we were to do when we were out on the field doing our research. I was in charge of gathering information on the pH and dissolved oxygen in Valley Creek. I learned a lot by doing these protocols. It felt really good to be in charge of them and I liked taking on the responsibility of it all.
I think that it’s important for everyone to help out our community even if it is in a small way because every helping hand counts. My initial thought on the volunteer work was that it would be pretty easy, but I have found out it was a lot harder than you may think. We had to go out in the pouring rain and test the waters. If the water was moving too fast for one of the tests then you would have to redo it until it was done perfectly. It wasn’t just some simple task there is a lot of science that goes along with it.
One big way I contributed was with the research that I did. Our testing of pH levels of the water can give insight on the health of the streams. I think my work will help people realize how big of an impact people have on the streams. I think this might get more people to volunteer and get involved with restoration crews to make our streams a better and healthier place for wildlife.
Streamkeepers have done restoration work on Valley Creek. Streamkeepers are 're-meandering' the culverted reach through Port Angeles which should make it easier for salmon to prosper in the streams. If anyone is interested in this sort of work or just interested in getting out and helping the community I strongly suggest volunteering with the citizen-based watershed monitoring program like Streamkeepers. It was a really great experience and it was well worth the hard work.