In response to the current social distancing and shelter-in-place mandate for the state of California, The Watershed Project is unable to conduct much of our work with volunteers this spring. That being said, our effects have not halted but are merely shifting, and you can help contribute to our data while sheltering in place! We invite you to join our do-it-yourself campaigns to keep ourselves healthy, stay connected with our communities, and build self-sufficiency together. Community science allows for experiment and exploration and we encourage you to stay involved!

We are offering two biodiversity projects, a do-it-yourself clean-up, and observational creek monitoring! Read on for more information.

Biodiversity Monitoring

The Watershed Project is launching two projects on iNaturalist: Pollinator Power and Backyard Birding. These projects are a collaborative effort to collect useful and interesting observations on pollinators and birds in your backyard. Participation in community science projects such as these are a great way to stay in tune and involved with nature. Your observations will contribute to a greater understanding and awareness of local bird and pollinator species. We are here to help you interpret your data collection and share findings of our own. Click on the links above to explore these projects on iNaturalist!

Instructions: To add an observation to one of our projects, first make an account with iNaturalist, and join the project or projects you’d like to contribute to. Then, simply take a photo of the bird or pollinator you’ve sighted and add the photo as an observation in your iNaturalist account. The observation will be automatically added to the applicable projects.

Watch a tutorial of how to add observations to projects from your phone here.

Watch a tutorial of how to add observations to projects from your computer here.

Trash Monitoring

Watch this video to learn how to use the NOAA Debris Tracker App for trash tracking and collecting.

For the month of April we are conducting a Do-It-Yourself Earth Day using Earth Team’s platform for the Marine Debris Tracker app. This app allows you to enter details on the types of trash you find, uses GPS coordinates to track the litter you pick up, and ultimately helps us identify hotspots which will later be displayed on an interactive map. You can download the app today on your iOS or Android device.

Important steps for using the app:

1. Select the NOAA list, (biggest one at the top) and then click Use This List.
2. Click the turtle on the center bottom of the screen and login with the information below:
Email: thewatershedproject
Password: watershed
3. Start logging!

Detailed instructions for how to use Marine Debris Tracker here.

Observational Creek Monitoring

In order to keep our staff and volunteers safe, The Watershed Project is unable to conduct our monthly water quality monitoring of creeks across Contra Costa County during this time. However, you can help contribute to our data if you live near a creek! During this difficult time, it is important to be outside in a safe and healthy manner, and taking walks outside remains an approved activity within the shelter in place guidelines. If you live close to a creek or stream, we urge you to participate in our observational creek monitoring!

In the video above, Sarah Haselton, our Water Quality and Citizen Science Associate, will teach you how to monitor the creek and submit your data to us at The Watershed Project. Your data will be added to the data we collect and be uploaded to the California Environmental Data Exchange Network (CEDEN) so that we can have a better understanding of the health of our urban creeks.

Submit your completed form here.

You can also download and print the form here.

Step by Step Instructions

Please follow this link to step by step instructions for contributing to all of the above projects!