The Annapolis River Guardians is a citizen-science water quality monitoring program. River Guardians is Clean Annapolis River Project's flagship project, and was the first water quality monitoring program of its kind in Atlantic Canada. This means that in the Annapolis Watershed we have one of the best long-term data sets around, giving us valuable information about our river's health.
Our River Guardians are volunteers who have been trained to collect and analyze water samples. They dedicate their time every two weeks to collect and analyze water samples. As a result of the program, over 100 community members are now educated and skilled citizen scientists, who are able to disperse information throughout their community.
There are a lot of threats to our river's health, and the Annapolis River Guardians program enables us to detect these issues, understand long-term trends, and develop projects that respond to threats to ecological health.
River Guardians data can be used to detect big problems; in fact, in 2005 monitoring results indicated that something was amiss in the Middleton area. Further investigation identified that problems with the local waste treatment facility were resulting in untreated waste being directly discharged into the Annapolis River. CARP was then able to work with the Town to ensure the issue was addressed.
The program also helps community members make informed decisions about water use, to avoid potential health risks. Monitoring parameters include E. coli bacteria. E. coli live in the digestive tract of warm-blooded animals and are used to indicate the potential presence of harmful organisms. E. coli results are posted online and on public signs between Bridgetown and Aylesford, to report whether water is safe for recreational use, crop or livestock watering, or other uses.
At the end of each year an Annapolis River Report Card is released, so the public can see what is happening to their river.
Funded by Annapolis, NS (October 2016)