Letter: Join us in helping improve Warren's beautiful waterways

Posted 3/17/21

To the editor:

The Warren Testing program is excited to commence its sixth year this spring. Established in 2016 by Julie Blount and Steve Thompson, the project’s objective is to monitor the …

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Letter: Join us in helping improve Warren's beautiful waterways

Posted

To the editor:

The Warren Testing program is excited to commence its sixth year this spring. Established in 2016 by Julie Blount and Steve Thompson, the project’s objective is to monitor the health of the critical waterways in Warren. Since its inception, five sites along the Warren River and Belchers Cove are monitored bi-monthly from late spring until fall for a number of critical measures of water quality and contaminants. 

The program is 100 percent run by volunteers and we have been fortunate to have the dedicated support of a core group of residents over the years.  Water samples are collected and analyzed by members of the Watershed Watch program at the University of Rhode Island. Data from the lab analysis is then published and shared with scientists, citizens and policy makers at the state and municipal level.  Costs associated with equipment, lab testing and training have been generously supported by grants from the Shellfish Restoration Foundation and the Town of Warren.

As we begin our sixth year we are considering expanding the number of sites in Warren from five to seven to include two new sites along the Kickemuit River.  In order to staff the additional sites, we are looking for new volunteers this year. 

Our testing season begins in mid-June and runs through the end of October.  Testing occurs bimonthly on Sunday mornings where samples are gathered between 6AM and 8:30AM and then tested by the volunteer(s) at their homes.  Once a month, samples are dropped off at a drop site in Warren and transported to the lab at URI for analysis.  URI provides training for volunteers and all equipment and testing supplies are provided.  We are looking for two volunteers for each new site. 

The rivers in Warren leading out into the Bay are vital to our community and rich in the history of the towns seafaring past.  We believe it is critically important to monitor the health of our waterways so they can continue to be a part of our way of life for years to come.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the Warren Water Testing program, please contact Julie Blount at julie@blountboats.com or Steve Thompson at sthompwarren@gmail.com.

Julie Blount

Wheaton Street

Steve Thompson

Broad Street

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