Labor Day weekend has finally come, and all across the James River watershed, River Watch volunteers have finished their last samples of the season. Incubators shut down and passively release their heat; supplies are inventoried; and the Advocacy team at JRA reflects on the data our volunteers have collected over the course of the season.

Summer 2020 has been a rough time for most. Yet I’ve been amazed by the passion and dedication of the volunteers, many of whom are chomping at the bit to get more sampling done. A huge thank you to our citizen scientists, both those I got to meet in person and those I didn’t!

With the help of 57 volunteers, we monitored 27 locations along the James River and its tributaries. Volunteers collected 337 samples, and logged over 546 hours with the James River Watch! Heavy rain usually leads to an increase in E. Coli in the river due to runoff and sewer overflow, yet despite a very wet summer, our total pass rate was 82%. 

We couldn’t have done this without you. Some of you were out nearly every week this summer, and some of you were from locations with such a generous army of volunteers that you only got the chance to sample twice! Your efforts are all deeply appreciated. You have helped empower countless Virginians with the knowledge they need to enjoy the river safely. Thank you for your support, and river on!