AWW Office COVID-19 Update

As part of Auburn University’s precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Alabama Water Watch Program Office closed on March 16, at 5 pm. The current plan is for the office to reopen on June 30th, and we will provide updates as possible.

All Alabama Water Watch related programs and workshops during this time period are postponed. Please visit the AWW website for details regarding specific events. AWW will continue to go about daily operations during the closure as AWW Staff will be working remotely during this time.

4/30/2020 – Governor Ivey issued a Safer-At-Home Order that superseded the Stay-At-Home Order starting on Thursday, April 30th at 5pm and will remain in effect until at least May 15th. Although, this order eases some statewide restrictions, please continue to take into consideration your personal health and safety, please review the Safer-at-Home fact sheet link below as you determine whether or not it is in your best interest to conduct water monitoring.

4/6/2020 – Governor Ivey issued a Stay-At-Home Order that went into effect on Saturday, April 4th. Therefore, in addition to taking into consideration your personal health and safety, please review the Order (see link below) as you determine whether or not it is in your best interest to conduct water monitoring.

Also, be aware that many public recreation areas are now closed to the public. The Alabama State Parks and National Forests of Alabama have listed current closings on their websites. Check with local officials about any parks or recreational areas in your communities.

USDA Forest Service Closed Areas:

AL State Parks Info:

To read about general safety recommendations and other concerns related to COVID-19 and water monitoring, please see this additional article, COVID-19 Water Monitoring Concerns.

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AWW Tiger Giving Project, Protect Alabama Waterways, Mini-grant Program


If you are a certified AWW monitor and need some help to get started monitoring at an orphaned site or a new site, in the form of a water chemistry test kit, water chemistry reagents to refill an existing kit, or bacteria supplies, this mini-grant program is for you!

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Meet Our Water Watchers: Carl Woida!

Carl Woida has been a volunteer monitor with Alabama Water Watch for 19 years. When asked to share about his monitoring experience, he wrote a very thoughtful reflection about his time as a volunteer. We are excited to share his story. Read on to learn more about Carl, his monitoring, lessons learned, and why he enjoys being involved with the AWW Program!

My name is Carl Woida and I have been a Volunteer Monitor with AWW since 2001. I have two monitoring sites on the Paint Rock River, a major tributary of the Tennessee River. My monitoring group’s name is the Scott Branch Water Watch. Scott Branch is a small stream feeding the Paint Rock River. I am 75 years old and to date, since my initial certification in 2001, I have been recertified 10 times and have submitted 276 chemistry reports to AWW.

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PAWWesome Co-workers

As the AWW Program Staff settles into the “new normal,” they are also adjusting to working with their new (four-legged) co-workers at home. Since they’ve worked with them about 5 weeks now, we thought we’d ask about their work habits:

It seems they have a slight tendency to sleep on the job…

Sydney’s co-worker, Lila Grace
Carolina’s co-worker, Momo
Carolina’s co-worker, Tiger
Sydney’s co-worker, Jack Baloo
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Meet Our Water Watchers: Janne Debes!

Janne Debes started volunteering with AWW when she was certified as a Bacteriological Monitor in winter 2016. Since then, she has joined several monitoring groups, including Save Our Saugahatchee, Lake Watch of Lake Martin (where she serves on the board), and the USFS Tuskegee National Forest group. She has collected a total of over 320 Water Chemistry and 110 Bacteriological Monitoring data records. It’s easy to see why she has been named the Alabama Water Watch Monitor of the Year two years in a row!

Janne accepts her Monitor of the Year Award for 2018, made by Laura Bell (left of Janne) of Rabbit Fish Ceramics.

Because Janne is so AWWesome, we thought you would enjoy learning a little more about her,  or should we say you would like to Meet Our Wonderful Water Watcher.  

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COVID-19 Water Monitoring Concerns

Several monitors have asked if they should continue monitoring their sites amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As we know, anytime you participate in water-based activities there are risks for injury and sickness. AWW does its best to provide volunteers with guidance that will hopefully prevent such issues. In an effort to include the newest threats to health, we have reviewed the current information provided by the CDC related to Water Transmission and COVID-19.

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New 4-H Alabama Water Watch Project: Exploring Pathogen Pollution in Our Waters

Are you an educator, or do you know of an educator who would like to engage your students with citizen science and watershed stewardship?  We are currently recruiting educators from coastal counties to help us pilot the new 4-H AWW Project “Exploring Pathogen Pollution in Our Waters.”

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