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Contra Costa Volunteer Creek Monitoring

Main Project Information
Goal Collect baseline data on local watersheds
Task Participate in bioassessments and GPS surveys
Where California

Volunteers wade through creeks in Contra Costa County (California), using the latest technology and scientific protocols to collect baseline data on our local watersheds. Our two primary programs are Bioassessment sampling and GPS Creek Surveys.

Bioassessment - Using aquatic insects as indicators of water quality, volunteers learn more about the health of their neighborhood creeks and identify potential problem areas. While water samples yield a detailed identification of the water at the time of sampling, the density and diversity of bugs in our creeks yield a watershed-level perspective of water quality and habitat viability over time.

GPS Creek Surveys - Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, volunteers map the physical attributes of the stream channel (substrate, canopy cover, bank characteristics, etc.), extent and type of native and invasive vegetation, and human influences (outfalls, dams, etc.).

Joining a data collection event is a fun way to explore parts of your urban environment most people never see, but they are more than just fun ... they’re science!

How to Join

For more information about the Bioassessment program, please visit:

For more information about the GPS Creek Surveys, please visit:

For indoor opportunities creating GIS-based maps or analyzing data, please visit the "Data Center" here:

Specific data collection events are posted regularly on the calendar:

All trainings are provided for interested volunteers. Any additional questions should be directed to Michelle at

Required Gear

-Boots and waders are provided if the participant does not have his/her own.
-Most survey sites require a car to reach the meet-up point
-Survey dates are organized via the calendar, so Internet access is important

Ideal Age Group Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags California, GPS, Water Quality, watershed
Project Updated 05/23/2018