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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency seeks volunteers for water monitoring program

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking volunteers in the Bemidji area to be a part of its water monitoring program this summer.

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BEMIDJI — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking volunteers in the Bemidji area to be a part of its water monitoring program this summer.

"The MPCA is now recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams, including several high-priority sites in the Bemidji area, and then report back to the agency," a release said. "This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in helping protect our state’s natural resources."

Through the program, volunteers will do a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer, the release said.

Lake monitors will boat or paddle to a designated spot in the lake to check the clarity, while stream monitors record data from the streambank or a bridge over it.

Equipment and training are provided, so no experience is needed.

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"The MPCA uses the data to help determine whether lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities like fishing and swimming," the release said. "In some cases, the information gathered by volunteers is the only monitoring done on a particular lake or stream."

Available sites in the area include Rice Lake, Bootleg Lake, Fern Lake, Grass Lake, Manomin Lake, Long Lake, Lake Campbell, Peterson Lake, Pony Lake and various sites along the Mississippi River.

"Program volunteers come from all walks of life; from retirees and families to teachers with their classrooms and entire community groups," the release said. "Anyone can be a volunteer."

To learn more or sign up, visit www.mn.gov/volunteerwater .

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