Lebanon, Va. – Volunteers are needed to monitor water quality at Virginia’s newest state park.

 Russell County Public Library (RCPL) has received a grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to coordinate citizen monitoring of the Clinch River in 2020. An informational and organizational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Library, on Main St. in Lebanon, Virginia.

The water samples will be taken by citizen volunteers and the grant will pay for training and water testing. RCPL selected six sites to monitor - 3 located on the river, and 3 on tributary streams in the north, central and south part of the county.

Churches, youth groups, classes, and community clubs can become involved by testing the water once per month at one or more sites. Training is necessary since the data from the samples will be submitted to Virginia DEQ. The first training sessions will be scheduled for early February at the Lebanon Library and the Honaker Community Library.

In addition to the DEQ, our partners in this grant-funded project are Clinch Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Upper Tennessee River Round Table (Save Our Streams), Estanoa, Virginia Tech, and University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Come and learn more. If you are willing to wade into the water on Lewis Creek, Big Cedar Creek, Lick Creek, or one of the canoe launch sites on the Clinch, please join us!  Now is the time to get outside and enjoy one of Virginia’s greatest treasures--the Clinch River.

For more information, look at the RCPL Webpage (http://russell.lib.va.us) or the new Facebook page for the Clinch Water Watch. For general information, look at the DEQ website and search ‘citizen water monitoring’ (www.deq.virginia.gov.) Or call Kelly McBride Delph, grant coordinator, at 889-8063.

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