Alexandria Chapter of the Izaak Walton League

2729 Garrisonville Road, Stafford, VA 22556

Izaak Walton League: Defenders of Soil, Woods, Water, Air, and Wildlife.

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National Chapter of the Izaak Walton League

Virginia Chapter of the Izaak Walton League


Conservation Activities

Summer Stream Sampling Success! On June 2nd, our IWL Conservation Team worked with a group of adventurous teens and adults to check on the health of our streams. Together, we completed aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling to study and monitor the health of our streams. This sampling involved the collection and analysis of small, spineless organisms that live in the water, such as insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and worms. These macroinvertebrates play a crucial role in stream ecosystems as they serve as indicators of water quality and ecological integrity. Under the direction and guidance of our Conservation Team, this group assessed the chemical conditions of the stream as well as completed a biological evaluation, including aquatic macroinvertebrate stream sampling. For our sampling process, we used nets to capture macroinvertebrates from various habitat areas within the stream. The collected aquatic critters were examined, identified, counted, and recorded. The composition and abundance of different macroinvertebrates provide us valuable information about the overall health and ecological conditions of the stream. In Virginia, aquatic macroinvertebrates sampling is particularly important for assessing stream health due to the state's rich diversity of aquatic ecosystems. The presence, absence, and abundance of specific macroinvertebrate species can indicate the presence of pollutants, habitat degradation, or other environmental stressors. For example, certain species of macroinvertebrates are highly sensitive to pollution and will only survive in clean, well-oxygenated water. Therefore, the presence of these pollution-sensitive species suggests good water quality, while the absence or dominance of pollution-tolerant species may indicate impaired conditions. Close to 85% of the types of macroinvertebrates we collected are considered pollution intolerant, which means that they only survive in streams with healthy chemical and biological conditions. The diversity and kind of macroinvertebrates sampled show that the water and streams on our property are healthy and provide aquatic habitat conditions for pollution sensitive aquatic critters. The stream assessment and aquatic macroinvertebrates sampling are vital tools for understanding the health of streams in Virginia. These small organisms serve as reliable indicators of water quality and ecosystem integrity, providing valuable insights into the impacts of pollution and habitat degradation. By studying macroinvertebrate populations, scientists and environmental managers can make informed decisions to protect and restore the state's streams, ensuring the preservation of these valuable aquatic ecosystems for future generations. Erika Wettergreen – Conservation Chairerika[AT]wettergreen[DOT]com Save Our Streams: Virginia Save Our Streams is a program of the Izaak Walton League of America. Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected conservation organizations. Virginians have the right to know whether our streams are safe for swimming, fishing, playing, and drinking. Virginia Save Our Streams monitors water quality of Virginia’s streams and educates the public about the importance of clean water. We are still looking for the macroinvertebrate equipment. An option for the macroinvertebrate equipment would be to make our own. The instructions are simple and easy to follow. One of the Committee members has a source for a few more pieces of PVC. Look and see if you can help. The chapter seeks volunteers to help start a stream-monitoring program for five areas around the property. If interested contact Eric Brown or Erika Wettergreen on how you can help.
Conservation Report July 2022 (Members only) IWLeague - Water quality in Virginia
VA Dept of Health - Ways to conserve water

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For more information, contact:
Erika Wettergreen, Conservation Committee Chair , Send Message , (Log in to see additional contact info)

For more information on Conservation, see IWLA Conservation