Florida LAKEWATCH is looking for volunteers in Sumter County who are ready to roll up their sleeves, get their elbows wet, and make a valuable contribution to the future of Florida lakes. If you have a boat (almost any kind) and a couple of hours a month you may be a candidate for the Florida LAKEWATCH volunteer lake monitoring program.
Florida LAKEWATCH Regional Coordinator for Sumter County, Dan Willis, describes how the program works. “Florida LAKEWATCH trains volunteers across the state to collect water and algae samples, and water clarity information that can be used to document a lake’s nutrient levels. Over time, baseline data are established, providing citizens and water managers with a useful tool for managing lakes.”
“There are over 7000 lakes in Florida that are used for fishing, water skiing, boating, and other types of recreation. Becoming a Florida LAKEWATCH volunteer is one more way to enjoy your lake and learn more about it at the same time. This is a great opportunity for residents who are concerned about water quality in their area to become personally involved. All you need is a boat and access to a waterbody to sample three open water stations once a month.”
In return for their participation, volunteers receive training in monitoring procedures, sampling materials, annual reports of their monthly data, quarterly educational newsletters, access to aquatic sciences experts at the University of Florida, and invitations to regularly scheduled Florida LAKEWATCH activities.
Florida LAKEWATCH is a Volunteer Water Monitoring Program at the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Science’s (IFAS) Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Anyone interested in monitoring a lake in the Sumter County area should call toll free 1(800) 525-3928.