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Stream Team volunteers to help study Captina Creek Watershed

Photo Provided MEMBERS of the Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District pose in their hipwaders in preparation for a stream monitoring project in the Captina Creek Watershed. From left are Sterling Brumfield, wildlife specialist; Samantha Hearn, agriculture and education specialist; and Becca Theaker, Captina Creek Watershed coordinator.

POWHATAN POINT — Thanks to a $4,500 donation, the Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District and its Stream Team will be studying the Captina Creek Watershed for the next few months.

Becca Theaker, Captina Creek Watershed coordinator for the Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District, said the Gulfport Energy Fund of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio recently gave the district the money to “expand biological monitoring in Belmont County.”

The money already has been used to purchase the equipment needed for the monitoring, which is expected to help the district “better prioritize conservation and reclamation projects throughout the watershed,” according to a press release from Theaker.

She noted people can volunteer to be a part of the Stream Team, which includes those helping identify benthic-macroinvertebrates and macroinvertebrates. Such tiny creatures point to a stream’s water quality.

The volunteers will also help identify points of pollution in the watershed.

To be part of the Stream Team, one must be a Belmont County resident or landowner and have an interest in biology and conservation.

“The first round of data is due in April so volunteers can start whenever they want (before April 2021). The volunteer program is very flexible so it doesn’t really matter when, as I can train them individually. Volunteers should be 18 years of age or older,” Theaker said.

Volunteers will be assigned a water-testing site and then take quarterly samples, which are then given to Theaker. For more information or to become a volunteer, call 740-526-0027.

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