AWW Staff Bacteria Blitzes

Water monitoring has been a great way for our monitors and staff to get outdoors while maintaining social distancing. In April, May, and June (planning another for July!), the AWW Program Staff set out to conduct multi-site bacteriological monitoring blitzes near their homes in the Auburn area. Each staffer took on multiple sites on several waterbodies in Auburn. Take a look at what we found!

Rachel (RM in orange) took on several sites in north Auburn, Sergio and Carolina ( RC in blue) took on west and south Auburn, while Mona (MD in red) and Sydney (SS in black) sampled central Auburn.
Rachel (RM in orange) took on several sites in north Auburn, Sergio and Carolina ( RC in blue) took on west and south Auburn, while Mona (MD in red) and Sydney (SS in black) sampled central Auburn.
June 2020’s E. coli results were trending down from the previous two months across everyone’s monitoring sites.
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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 until future notice. 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.

6/3/2020 The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) will not allow face-to-face meetings until at least August 8.

4/30/2020 – Governor Ivey issued a Safer-At-Home Order that superseded the Stay-At-Home Order starting on Thursday, April 30th at 5pm and will remain in effect until at least May 15th.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.

https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/04/Final-Statewihttps://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/04/GKI-0040-2020-Health-Order-Update-Info-Sheet.pdfde-Order-4.3.2020.pd

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.


https://governor.alabama.gov/assets/2020/04/Final-Statewide-Order-4.3.2020.pdf

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: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/alabama/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD716412

AL State Parks Info: https://www.outdooralabama.com/COVID-19?fbclid=IwAR273aZnuIt6vsulZ-1k02zkl1EZh

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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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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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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