Fun and hard work of spring water quality sampling
On April 12, 2018 FOPW and Master Watershed Steward volunteers along with Bucks County Conservation District staff collected samples of the benthic macroinvertebrate community at 2 sites on the main stem of Poquessing Creek between Philadelphia Mills and Bensalem Country Club. These organisms, mostly larval stages of insects, are a critical part of the aquatic ecosystem, consuming algae and fallen leaves that enter the stream and serving as food for fish and other aquatic life. Because they live between several months and up to years in the stream bottom, macroinvertebrates provide a more wholistic perspective on water quality compared to chemical tests that capture conditions at the time of sampling. Some species of macroinvertebrates are more sensitive to pollution than others and therefore can serve as the stream equivalent of the ‘canary in the coal mine.’ Through our work funded by the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, we have collected macroinvertebrates at these locations since 2015.
Master Watershed Steward volunteers: Jim Walter and Phylis McGabe and Bucks County Conservation District staff: Kelly Steelman, Meghan Rogalus and Rachel Onuska