For 20 years now, water quality monitoring volunteers with the Delaware Sea Grant-led University of Delaware Citizen Monitoring Program have fanned out across the state’s coastal region to visit assigned monitoring sites and collect data such as clarity and dissolved oxygen, harmful algae, and bacteria levels.

The steady stream of information allows the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the Center for the Inland Bays, and other organizations to provide the public with appropriate health advisories and to keep a close eye on the quality of water.

While their complete impact can’t be quantified — we know their efforts help ensure safe swimming water, clean shellfish to eat, and a healthy ecosystem for citizens and tourists — the volunteers have contributed at least 25,000 service hours, an estimated $550,000 of donated time.

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