About the Network
The New Jersey Watershed Watch Network is a support provider for all community-based and volunteer water quality monitoring programs across the state. A program with the same name had existed in New Jersey prior to 2012 and is being reinstated to offer additional support for community monitoring groups to develop, grow, and thrive. NJDEP contracted with The Watershed Institute in July 2018 for an initial three-year period to manage this support program on their behalf.
Partnerships and information sharing are vital to the continued success of the New Jersey volunteer monitoring community. In recent gaps and needs assessments by the New Jersey Water Quality Monitoring Council, volunteer monitoring coordinators stated that they need more guidance, more technical resources, and more opportunities for regular interaction with NJDEP. The NJ Watershed Watch Network serves as a clearinghouse of New Jersey-specific water monitoring information, and helps to link together the needs of NJDEP with those of the volunteer community. The Network offers an open line of communication to allow for a freer exchange of information and improved data quality.
Volunteer monitoring groups are a valuable resource, the capacities of which can be leveraged to increase the availability of data for regulatory uses. The NJ Watershed Watch Network unifies volunteer groups under a consistent set of methods that will produce data of sufficient quality to be used for regulatory purposes. A set of protocols and quality assurance project plan (QAPP) templates will be developed under the guidance of the Office of Quality Assurance, and will be made available to standardize methodology across different groups.
- Volunteer training
- Workshops and networking meetings for program coordinators
- A clearinghouse for NJ-specific monitoring materials
- Study design and quality assurance review
- Assistance with technical issues including data entry into the EPA’s Water Quality Exchange
- Connection between community organizations and data users at the NJDEP and EPA