Lady standing in a river with a test tube

Lake erie volunteer science network

What is Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network?

Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network (LEVSN) is a regional community of practice that empowers community members to collect, share, and engage with water quality data for the conservation and enrichment of our Great Lake and all who call it home.

Our Mission & Vision

LEVSN amplifies existing volunteer monitoring efforts and creates new opportunities for collective impact by helping local programs standardize their efforts, pilot new technologies, share best practices, and collaborate across jurisdictions.

2023 Lake Erie Watershed Health Summary

In 2023, LEBAF participants monitored over 100 stations across 20 rivers and tributaries locatedin the Lake Erie Basin, collecting data during 842 sampling events. Data included four core parameters – pH, DO, temperature, and conductivity – and three surrogate parameters – TDS,salinity, and chloride.
Read the full report now!

Download 2023 Lake Erie Watershed Health Summary

Resources

Water Reporter

"Water Reporter is a cloud platform that helps local monitoring initiatives collect, manage, and visualize their water quality data as well as connect that data to other analysis tools and databases. Our partners use Water Reporter to standardize, aggregate, and analyze data for their own management decisions and share it with researchers, agencies, and community members so it can have even greater impact."

Data-driven answers

Engage with LEVSN

LEVSN COLLABORATING PARTNERS leverage the standardized data and educational tools produced by the Lake Erie Baseline Assessment Framework to answer research and management questions, activate residents, and catalyze collective impact across the Lake Erie Basin. They are a diverse collection of educators, researchers, innovators, and agencies that value collaborating with volunteer science groups and are committed to helping shape their priorities and evaluating the effectiveness of their programs.

LEVSN LOCAL HUBS organize community volunteers to engage in critical monitoring efforts that keep a finger on the pulse of local water quality and answer locally relevant scientific questions about water resources. They are a diverse collection of conservation districts, watershed groups, parks systems, and government entities that serve as boots on the ground, protecting local water resources across the Lake Erie Basin.

LEARN MORE about engaging in LEVSN and visit your Local Hub’s website below to learn more about your local watershed and get involved in monitoring, restoration, and advocacy for your local water resources.

Local Hubs

The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is southeast Michigan’s oldest environmental organization dedicated to river protection. HRWC protects and restores the river for healthy and vibrant communities. HRWC monitors the Huron River, its tributaries, lakes, and groundwater, and leads programs on pollution prevention and abatement, wetland and floodplain protection, public education, and natural resource and land-use planning.

Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) is a non-profit organization serving the Clinton River watershed, Anchor Bay, and Lake St. Clair direct drainage, located in southeast Michigan. CRWC’s mission is to protect, enhance, and celebrate the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair for the benefit of communities, the environment, and our future. Its volunteer science programs serve to fill knowledge gaps and expand understanding of unique and vibrant natural resources throughout the watershed and nearby tributaries

For the past 30 years, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has been the guardian of Western New York’s fresh water. Its mission is four-fold: PROTECT the water, RESTORE both the waterways and the surrounding ecosystems, CONNECT people to their waterways, and INSPIRE both economic activity along the waterways and community engagement.

Fredonia State University of New York is part of the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States. The University Institute for Research in Science Teaching has been organizing volunteer science efforts, in partnership with NASA GLOBE, since 2014. Its monitoring sites are spread across the approximately 30 miles of shoreline in Northern Chautauqua County, NY, and represent three primary locations for access to Lake Erie.

Cleveland Metroparks is home to 18 park reservations, eight lakefront parks, over 300 miles of all-purpose, hiking, biking, and bridle trails, eight golf courses, five nature centers, dining, retail, and the nationally acclaimed Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The organization serves a mission to protect nature, connect communities, and inspire conservation of our world.

The Watershed Volunteer Program (WVP), established in 2012, is offered through Cleveland Metroparks with funding support from Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. Its mission is to connect community members concerned with the health of local watersheds.

The Doan Brook Watershed Partnership (DBWP) is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit organization with broad participation from the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Shaker Heights. Its mission is to protect and restore the Doan Brook and its watershed through collaboration and sharing of resources.

Established in 1946, the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District (SSWCD) is one of the 88 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the State of Ohio. It addresses conservation needs by providing local leadership for soil and water resources conservation and water quality enhancement.

The Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners’ water quality monitoring program will teach volunteers how to properly monitor a stream in the Tinker’s Creek watershed, show what conditions to look for that are cause for concern, and who to contact with questions and data. Each site should take about an hour to sample, and a trained leader will be at every monitoring event. The data will be compiled and logged into the Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners website and shared with partners to monitor the health of the creek and to find sites for future restoration projects. Volunteers are encouraged to adopt a site where they take on the sampling every month for their favorite spot in the watershed. These data help prioritize work and track pollution. Monitoring runs from May to September.

The Lorain Soil & Water Conservation District provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve the natural resources and environment in Lorain County.

Firelands Coastal Tributaries Watershed Program was created in 2006 and is currently operated through a partnership between the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Erie Soil and Water Conservation District.  The program acts as a community lead for watershed planning, stewardship education, grant funded watershed improvement projects, and the development of citizen-based stream monitoring.

Metroparks Toledo is a public agency serving the citizens of Lucas County by providing a regional system of clean, safe, natural parks.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments is a non-partisan regional planning partnership made up of voluntary members in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Together, TMACOG members work on transportation, water quality, and other economic development endeavors that affect quality of life for everyone in the region.

Partners for Clean Streams (PCS) is striving for abundant open space and a high-quality natural environment, adequate floodwater storage capacities and flourishing wildlife, stakeholders who take local ownership in their resources, and rivers, streams, and lakes that are clean, clear, and safe. PCS was established in 2007 as a 501c3 non-profit watershed organization. PCS programs focus on engaging the community in caring for and learning about the streams and rivers in northwest Ohio and our everyday connection to Lake Erie.

Rotary Club of Toledo is a fellowship of leaders engaged in service to the local and global community. Rotary began supporting water quality monitoring in 2014 to enable community engagement with local water resources and is now working to elevate the credibility of its data to support use by local stakeholders.

Collaborating Partners

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District logoNeorsd logoOld Woman Creek logoLorain County Community College logo

Community-driven research

Read More About Our Efforts

Our Sponsors

Cleveland Foundation logoNortheast Ohio Regional Sewage  District logoGreater Toledo Community Foundation logoCommunity Foundation logoNorthern Chautauqua community Foundation logoCommunity Foundation for Greater Buffalo logoRalph C. Wilson Jr. logoCouncil of Michigan Foundations logoCommunity Foundation. logoGreat Lakes Protection Fund logo