WATERSHED WATCH IN KENTUCKY

Explore. Connect. Protect.

Explore - Learn more about your chosen waterway through direct experience.

Connect - Partner with others to better understand the waterway's restoration and protection needs.

Protect - Pursue actions that help improve water quality.

$150,000 Legacy Grant Award Brightens Prospects for Future of Kentucky Volunteer Water Sampling Organization

Watershed Watch in Kentucky, Inc, which has trained and coordinated volunteer water samplers since 1997, received a 2021 $150,000 Legacy Grant from the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE), an environmental grant-making foundation based in Richmond, Virginia. This grant will largely be utilized to pursue sustainable funding for the organization’s mission to engage citizen scientists in better understanding and protecting Kentucky’s natural water resources.

Read full press release here!

WHO WE ARE

Mission - We are a statewide citizen's monitoring effort to improve and protect water quality by raising community awareness and by supporting implementation of the goals of the Clean Water Act and other water quality initiatives.

Volunteers - Our statewide nonprofit organization includes hundreds of volunteers who live across Kentucky and give their time to better understand the water quality of our streams, rivers and lakes.

Board of Directors - An organizing board of representatives from each of the affiliate basin organizations and founding entities meets on a quarterly basis. The board helps oversee the goals, policies, direction and general activities of the organization and provides financial and technical support to the individual basin programs.

WWKY Partnerships - We are grateful for support from the following partners.

WHAT WE DO

Monitoring - Volunteers can choose a site to monitor or request assistance with finding an ideal location. Stream and river sites can be sampled through our Core Sampling Program, and lakes can be sampling through our Lake Monitoring Program.

Training - We provide free online and in-person training workshops, typically in the spring, to teach new samplers and recertify existing samplers.

Equipment - We loan test kits to trained volunteers for their use to test water quality at their chosen sampling location (pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, and Secchi depth in lakes).

Testing - Volunteers use test kits for field chemistry analysis and collect water samples for lab analysis of bacteria (E. coli) and other water quality indicators. Sampling typically occurs three times a year, in May, July, and September. Stream habitat and biology are also evaluated in May or June, if desired.

Laboratory Analysis - Water samples are delivered to certified professional labs for bacteria and other analyses. These results are combined with the field chemistry results and added to an online data portal.

Local Water Quality Projects - We encourage samplers to use their knowledge and sampling results to promote local projects that help improve and protect the quality of water in their chosen stream, river or lake.

Water Education - We attend events and assist with classroom activities to promote a better general understanding of water resources and WWKY’s efforts to improve them. We also partner with Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and others to support a youth Stream Team Program.

Social Activities - We help organize various water-related activities for fun and added learning opportunities throughout the year.


WHERE WE WORK

Kentucky's River Basins - Water in Kentucky drains into 8 major river basins. To offer more direct, regional support within these basins, WWKY operates through seven affiliated basin organizations (Tradewater and Green River Basins are combined).

Please visit your basin of interest for specific information about the region’s training opportunities, sampling dates, and other events and activities. (Basin names are linked to their associated websites, if available.)

FOUR RIVERS BASIN - includes the Lower Cumberland River basin, Lower Ohio River Basin, the Tennessee River Basin and the Mississippi River Basin in Western Kentucky. (map)

GREEN RIVER BASIN - includes Western Kentucky basins for the Tradwater River that flows into the Ohio River and the Green River (map)

SALT RIVER BASIN - includes drainage areas for the north-central Salt River basin and regional tributaries of the Ohio River (map)

UPPER CUMBERLAND RIVER BASIN - includes drainage area to the Cumberland River north of the Kentucky/Tennessee boundary in Monroe County (map)

KENTUCKY RIVER BASIN - includes the drainage area for the Kentucky River from southeastern Kentucky to Carrollton in northern Kentucky (map)

LICKING RIVER BASIN - includes the drainage for the Licking River in northeastern Kentucky, as well as regional tributaries to the Ohio River (map)

BIG SANDY RIVER BASIN - includes the drainage areas for the Big Sandy, Little Sandy and Tygarts Rivers (map)