There will be an opportunity next month for volunteers to help test the water quality in the Black River and the Paw Paw River in Van Buren County. Alex Florian with the Van Buren Conservation District tells us they’ll be collecting insects from the rivers on October 2.
“We’ll have some people that go physically into the water with waders,” Florian said. “We’ll provide the waders. We provide all the equipment. They’ll go into the water with waders and nets and actually sample the insects. Then we’ll have people bringing what they sample from them to the people on shore, what we call pickers, and the pickers will go through those samples and actually pick out the aquatic insects, and they’ll be place in a jar to be preserved.”
Florian says which bugs they find can give a picture of the longer-term health of the water. A lack of insects that are sensitive to certain chemicals, for example, could be an indication of a problem. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Alex Florian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-633-9044