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URI is seeking volunteers to help monitor water quality

The University of Rhode Island’s Watershed Watch program, now in its 30th year, is one of the longest running citizen science projects in Rhode Island. (File Photo courtesy URI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The University of Rhode Island is looking for volunteers to help monitor the water quality in local waterways.

Volunteers in URI's Watershed Watch program check the water clarity, temperature, algae concentrations and dissolved oxygen in 220 lakes, ponds, streams and bays from May through October. They also collect water samples.

The program is beginning its 30th year of monitoring.

Watershed Watch coordinator Elizabeth Herron says the warming climate is increasingly being reflected in the water quality monitoring data. She says deep lakes, especially, are heating up and some species are becoming active at unusual times.

URI also says algae blooms have increased in many locations since monitoring began.

The data is used by conservation organizations, policymakers and others.

The program's website contains detailed information. Training sessions are planned for April.

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