In keeping with our Mission: To promote active and visible environmental stewardship, we are a projects oriented group. All of our members are involved in one or more of our projects and we encourage our members to develop new projects of their own. Our current range of projects include water monitoring, locating abandoned oil and gas wells, and watershed education. Each project involves several different areas.
This project involves monthly water testing for pH, conductance, alkalinity, phosphates, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, and sulfates. Additional biannual sampling of the stream bottom macro-invertebrate community is also done. This type of monitoring usually last for 1 to 2 years at a specific location. The monitoring site location is chosen by the individual doing the sampling. DEP and Venango Conservation District help with site selection. This project uses Citizens' Volunteer Monitoring Program protocols.CVMP Protocols
This project was started to address concerns about the environmental effects of shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Project monitors measure conductance and total dissolved solids weekly. On the initial sampling date a sample is sent to the lab and tested for barium and strontium. The weekly data collected is charted and provides early detection of flow back water from the hydraulic fracturing process. Sampling site are selected downstream of new shale gas wells. Supplies for this project have been provided by ALLARM.ALLARM Protocols
A sub set of this project involves using auto recording probes placed at 2 locations one upstream and one down stream of a shale gas drilling and fracking operation. These probes record data every 30 minutes and store the date, time, conductance low, conductance full and temperature information for retrieval approximately once per month. Supplies for this project have been provided by Penn State University.
Water monitors typically work in groups of 2 for weekly and monthly studies but groups of 10 or more gather for biannual sampling. Data collected from water monitoring projects is posted on Google Docs.You can access the data from the Data Files page
This project involves locating abandoned oil and gas wells on public lands in Venango County. In this project groups of "hunters" walk state park, state forest and state game lands looking for the signs of abandoned wells. Once located the well location is marked with flagging, photographed and its GPS location recorded so that DEP can easily verify the well and add it to the state record of abandoned wells. As part of this project, extensive mapping of well hunt tracts and well locations is done.(See photos in the sidebar) A "group" of hunters can range from 1 to 15. Groups of about 6 seem to work best. This is an excellent project for anyone who enjoys walking in the wooded areas of the county. Anyone with minimal computer skills can do the data recording and mapping. more info ...
Watershed education is an ongoing activity of the group. It can involve anything from a casual conversation with a friend or an actual presentation to a group. We set up displays at public events and work with the local conservation district to promote school events and projects. more info ...