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Stream Monitoring & Aquatic Resources

 Photo of Stream Wader volunteers

Maryland Stream Waders

Maryland Stream Waders is a volunteer stream sampling program that began in February 2000. The goal of the project is to fill in many of the information gaps that currently exist concerning the quality of Maryland's streams. With the help of volunteers like yourself, we hope to increase the average number of sites per medium sized watershed from 7 to more than 50! This will enable state and local governments to better assess their streams and conduct their restoration and planning activities.

In order to become part of the program, volunteers agree to participate in a one day training session and agree to spend about two more days during the March-April sampling window collecting aquatic invertebrate samples from stream beds. The samples are sent to DNR for "bug identification" and analysis. Volunteer recruitment will begin in September for our next training sessions which will start in February. For more information contact or call DNR's Stream Waders hotline at 410-260-8623 (toll free in Maryland 1-877-620-8DNR, extension 8623).

Fish Monitoring

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been monitoring estuarine fish communities in a number of tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay since 1989. Fish are collected using beach seines and otter trawls (small nets pulled by boats). The objective of the monitoring program is to develop an indexing tool that uses fish community information to determine the habitat quality in the rivers sampled. We are encouraging citizens to get involved in this effort by participating in the monitoring programs conducted by local volunteer groups. What is in it for citizens? Citizens will become familiar with the species of fish that are found in their rivers, as well as gain insight into the habitat quality of their river. To learn what local volunteer programs MD DNR works with conducting fish monitoring projects, please contact Carrie Hoover (Volunteer Group Sampling and Outreach)


Teaching Environmental Awareness in Maryland (TEAM DNR) is an exciting volunteer initiative that began in 1998. Our volunteers' mission is to educate elementary and middle-school children about the Chesapeake Bay and its creatures. TEAM volunteers complete a comprehensive training program to prepare them for the classroom. At our training sessions, DNR resource professionals provide hands-on experience to each volunteer on subjects ranging from Stream Ecology to Oysters to Effective Presentation skills. Upon completion of their training, our volunteers provide TEAM programs to elementary and middle school students throughout the state. Their efforts provide an important link between DNR and Maryland's public and private schools. The program has been well received by teachers and the number of requests for presentations continues to grow. For more information contact Christine Hintz at, 410-260-8809, or see our web site:

Coastal Bays Monitoring Program

The Maryland Coastal Bays Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program began in August 1997 in response to concerns raised by the Citizens Advisory Committee. Volunteers collect water quality data (including temperature, salinity, pH, chlorophyll and nutrients) twice a month from April through November and once a month from December through February. The program currently has approximately 50 volunteers that monitor almost 30 sites. For more information contact Cathy Wazniak at, 410-260-8638 (toll free in Maryland 1-877-620-8DNR, extension 8638), or check the web site:

Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC)

The Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) is a highly effective, statewide partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV), and the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps. MCC has earned the reputation of Maryland’s premier environmental youth service program. We serve Maryland’s natural environment and communities by providing low-cost services to numerous government and nonprofit agencies. For more information check out