WEBINAR: Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network Intro

August 13, 2024
12:00 am
August 13, 2024
1:00 pm
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WEBINAR: Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network Intro

Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network: Collaborating for the Health of the Lake Erie Basin

Join us for a free webinar on August 13 from 12-1pm ET hosted by the Cleveland Water Alliance, where we will discuss the Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network's (LEVSN) efforts in uniting community science groups for water quality monitoring. Learn about the Lake Erie Baseline Assessment Framework (LEBAF), a standardized approach empowering local communities to collect, analyze, and report water data, and explore how volunteer-driven monitoring can provide credible, actionable insights for water resource management. Perfect for existing volunteer groups, community organizations, researchers, and anyone passionate about local and regional water quality.



Lake Erie is the most biodiverse and bioproductive Great Lake, but also the most impacted by human activities. Unfortunately, the agencies and research institutions tasked with managing these issues have limited resources that curtail the scope of water quality monitoring conducted across the Basin. The results are stark gaps in available water quality data, a persistent barrier to the early warnings and investments needed to ensure short and long-term community resilience across the region.

Fortunately, Lake Erie Basin residents feel a powerful sense of connection to their water resources. Local organizations have been harnessing this energy to power “Citizen,” "Community," or “Volunteer” science groups that monitor water quality across the Basin for years. Dozens of groups regularly sample creeks, rivers, and shorelines across the region to support local water resource management.

Historically, a lack of trust and visibility has meant that volunteer groups have struggled to have their voices heard in water management, research, and advocacy conversations. In 2020 a collaboration of community foundations and Cleveland Water Alliance launched Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network (LEVSN) to unite our region’s groups into a cohesive movement capable of elevating the quality of their data. Over the next three years, the Network created and piloted the Lake Erie Baseline Assessment Framework (LEBAF), a standardized approach to volunteer-driven water data collection, analysis, and reporting.

Through technology and collaboration, LEBAF empowers individual communities to advocate for their local waterways while allowing them to integrate their data at the regional level to tell a shared story about the health of Lake Erie Watersheds. Since its founding, LEVSN participation has more than doubled and the network has partnered with key decision makers to refine LEBAF and work towards filling critical data gaps that inform management efforts at the local, regional, and Great Lake levels. Now, as our third year of fully standardized data collection wrapping, we can share reflections on the progress we have made and how communities and institutions across the Lake Erie Basin can get engaged.

Who should participate