Thank you to the citizen scientists who convened at the San Lorenzo Park for the 18th Annual Snapshot Day event on Saturday, May 6!

Volunteers of all ages were there to play an integral part in the annual monitoring of streams in Santa Cruz County that flow into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Volunteers were greeted with a quick welcome and thank you from Coastal Watershed Council staff, City of Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Chase and the Sanctuary’s Water Quality Protection Program Director Bridget Hoover before setting out to measure the health of stream habitats.

Each year Snapshot Day volunteers from San Mateo to San Luis Obispo create a single day “snapshot” of water quality of coastal streams impacting the Monterey Bay. This year in Santa Cruz County, 55 volunteers monitored 45 sites on streams and sloughs from Ano Nuevo Creek to the Pajaro River. Volunteers collected water samples to be tested for bacteria and nutrients and measured pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen and turbidity of the water. Volunteers also made physical observations, noted aquatic bugs and fish they saw and took photos.

The water quality data collected is used to glean long-term trends in stream health and identify hotspots that need further monitoring study or remediation. Certain streams, like Pilkington Creek in Seabright, are monitored only once a year during Snapshot Day. Based on the Snapshot Day findings, CWC and municipal partners will continue to monitor certain streams further and use the data to work together to determine a strategy for improving stream health.

In Santa Cruz County, volunteers collected over 100 samples. Samples are currently being processed at the Monterey Bay Analytical Services lab and we look forward to sharing Snapshot Day findings in the coming months. Stay tuned!


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