The Solano County Biomonitoring program is funded by the Vallejo Flood & Wastewater District, Solano County Department of Resource Management, and the City of Benicia. Additional assistance comes from the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and the Vallejo Watershed Alliance.
Volunteer Landis Graden assists Solano RCD Laura Morgan with the Biomonitoring Program in Vallejo. Graden and Morgan work with Vallejo High students to identify and count macroinvertebrates in Rindler Creek (which runs alongside of the Fairgrounds).
We work to achieve 5 objectives with this program:
- Raise knowledge and awareness of efforts to improve surface water quality
- Develop problem solving and critical thinking skills
- Promote stewardship of local water resources
- Learn about stream ecology and water quality
- Provide creek bioassessment and analysis to develop real data for submittal to CA data network
The program includes seven classroom presentations on stream ecology, storm water and watersheds, topographic mapping, macroinvertebrate identification and chemical water testing. Students participate in two field trips: a restoration-focused trip where students remove invasive plants and plant native vegetation, and an all-day citizen science field trip to monitor the health of a local creek.
During the biomonitoring field trip, students use the California Streamside Biosurvey, (a catch and release method) to assess invertebrate populations on site at the survey creek. This technique is a non-lethal method for evaluating water quality. The Biosurvey has three components, all assessed at the creek:
- Biological survey collection and analysis of benthic macroinvertabrates
- Habitat assessment of the physical characteristics of the stream’s substrate, flow, banks, and riparian zones.
- Chemical analysis of water quality for dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, turbidity, phosphates, and nitrates.
The Biomonitoring Program provides a micro-perspective of our watershed. Students look at a single reach of a single creek, to gain a snapshot view of watershed health. This program builds on our Watershed Explorers Program and Suisun Marsh Watershed and Wetland Education Program, but also stands alone.
The next program takes place January – June 2019. Registration is limited and closed for this school year. Teachers can find information to register their classes for the 2018-2019 school year in August 2018 at the top of this page.
You can watch more Solano County student biomonitoring in action in these videos from previous years of the program: