- About Spyglass
San Diego Coastkeeper
This week's blog is by Spyglass COO, Caleb Page.
I live in San Diego as one member of the virtual Spyglass team and I have been volunteering with San Diego Coastkeeper over the last few months. It is a non-profit organization formed to protect and restore the waters around San Diego. There are many programs spanning from advocacy to clean up to outreach and internships. The area in which I’ve participated is water quality monitoring.
I didn’t realize when I started that San Diego Coastkeeper has been collecting data since 2000. This has created one of the state’s largest databases of volunteer collected water quality data. Coastkeeper volunteers collect data on a monthly basis from nine of 11 different watersheds in the San Diego area. Samples are tested for basic chemistry, nutrients, bacteria, and toxicity. Information from samples gathered by volunteers is tested using rigorous quality control processes and routinely complements data gathered by budget-strapped public agencies.
My interest in the volunteer end of water quality monitoring is part personal passion and part business. Generally, everyone at Spyglass has an interest in understanding more about water quality from how to measure and improve it to how to control it. My business side had an interest in understanding how a nonprofit can be so effective over the years. What I learned is that there is a consistent dependable group of people of all ages interested in dedicating a few hours every so often to help increase our understanding of how the watersheds in our area are affected. The methods used are not the leading edge, automated in-situ laboratories like Spyglass’ Environmental Sample Process, but the regular gathering of samples and testing using the culture-based methods that have been in place for hundreds of years. These straightforward methods continue to generate data at a cost that is affordable to many programs – especially when using volunteer labor.
What is your involvement in water quality? Email me. I’m interested in hearing your insights.
Ask. Know. Now.