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Welcome to our ongoing effort to catalog citizen science and other public participation in scientific research (PPSR) projects for UC California Naturalists and other citizen scientists.  We invite you to browse the listed projects or enter key words (like birds, youth, invasive, coast, Alameda, etc.) in the search box above to find projects in your area. It's a great way to stay involved and keep developing your skills as a natural scientist!

A vast majority of the information in the database was gathered from project websites and may be out of date. We encourage you to contact projects directly to get involved and learn about most recent opportunities. If you work with a listed project and would like to add to, update, or correct the information we have, please email cghdixon@ucdavis.edu. Also, please consider filling out the "PPSR perspectives" survey. Click here to access the survey, which will help guide this project in the coming year.

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

Special thanks goes to the National Science Foundation Informal Science Education program and the Stephen J. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for supporting this database of projects.

First Flush - Monterey Bay

  • Organization Name
    Coastal Watershed Council
  • Organization Website
  • Partners
    Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; the California Coastal Commission; California Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • Contact Name
    Debie Chirco-Macdonald
  • Contact Email
  • Contact Phone
  • Other Contact Information

    Volunteer sign-up page: http://coastal-watershed.org/how-can-i-help/volunteer-signup/

    See also Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Citizen Watershed Monitoring Network: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/monitoringnetwork/about_us.html#activities

    Lisa Emanuelson, Coordinator, lisa.emanuelson@noaa.gov

  • Project Purpose (taken from project materials)

    Sample storm drain runoff during the first significant rainfall of the wet season. During the first rainfall, water washes significant levels of pollution off street surfaces, driveways, and curbs and into storm drains. This concentrated mix of often polluted water flows directly from these storm drains into creeks, rivers and the Monterey Bay.

  • Participant Activities

    Volunteers monitor specific storm drains during the first initial runoff. Volunteers are trained to collect water samples that are sent to a professional lab to assess levels of non-point source pollutants such as nutrients (nitrate, orthophosphate and urea), metals (copper, lead and zinc), bacteria (total coliform, enterococcus and E.coli), hardness, and total suspended solids. Additionally, volunteers are trained to monitor water temperature, conductivity, pH, and transparency at the storm drains.

  • Data Entry
    • Website
    • Collection Kits
  • Other Participant Activities
    N / A
  • System Studied
    • Water Quality
    • Wetlands - Freshwater Streams and Marshes
  • Geographic Scope
  • Region
    Santa Cruz
  • Location
    Creeks and run-off sites in the Monterey Bay Watershed (see for First Flush sites)
  • Location - Map
    Soquel, CA
  • Time Commitment
    • Once a year
  • Volunteer Qualifications
    N / A
  • Volunteer Training

    Volunteers are trained to collect water samples and to monitor water temperature, conductivity, pH, and transparency at the storm drains.

    Website resources include background information on watersheds and monitoring, policy and science implications and links to data portal.

  • Cost to Participant
    N / A
  • How will the findings be used?

    Data is displayed on the Coastal Watershed Council's Stewardship Portal:

    First Flush results are compared to the Central Coast Ambient Monitoring Program’s (CCAMP) Action Levels. These action levels are not used for regulatory purposes. Rather, they provide guidance on potential impacts to the health of the marine ecosystem.

  • Other Information

    First Flush happens in the fall each year - contact Debie ASAP to get trained in time to participate.

  • Photo
  • last update:

If you work with this project and would like to add to or update the information below, please email cghdixon@ucdavis.edu.

If you know of a project not on our list, please go to the "tell us about a project" link on the left so we can list the project here. Thanks for your help!

This database is focused on projects in California focused on the environment. For opportunities outside California, as well as national projects that don't have a California-specific components, check http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit/projects.