WV Save Our Streams

​​​​​​​ Save Our Streams Logo

The mission of WV Save Our Streams (SOS) is to promote the preservation and restoration of our state's waters by providing an understanding of their ecological integrity. This mission is accomplished by conducting workshops, training volunteers on how to monitor their local wadeable streams and rivers.

The biosurvey approach is t​he preferred method of stream study, and is the focus of most (but not all) workshops. A biosurvey is the collection and evaluation of the benthic macroinvertebrates (BMIs), and an assessment of the physiochemical conditions. A biological integrity score and rating is determined by calculating three to six metrics, depending upon the survey level. Multiple biosurveys provide volunteers with enough information to assess the conditions of their station. By adding more sites, the overall condition of the watershed can be evaluated.

COVID-19 Information

Citizen monitoring groups should follow state/local guidance for monitoring activities, and adhere to CDC guidelines for social distancing and PPE. For additional details dowload the WAB COVID-19 field guidance.

Contact Us

Callie Cronin Sams, Program Coordinator
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
47 School Street, Suite 301, Philippi WV 26416
Phone: (304) 341-6095; Email: Callie.C.Sams@wv.gov

  • Stream monitoring workshopsNeed-to-know information about scheduling, studying for and what to expect during a stream monitoring workshop.
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs): Descriptions of program methods for conducting stream biosurveys and more.
  • Survey data sheetsDescriptions of the levels and types of survey data sheets available.
  • Stream calculationsA variety of tools and resources to help volunteers evaluate and better understand stream integrity.
  • Benthic macroinvertebrates (BMIs)Multiple resources to help volunteers familiarize themselves with these valuable indicators of stream health.
  • Overview of water qualityOverview of basic water chemistry with the most common constitutes described.
  • Writing your monitoring planInformation to help you organize your monitoring plan, or study design.
  • Volunteer Assessment Database (VAD)The VAD provides tools to enter and access volunteer survey information.
  • USEPA's Volunteer Monitoring ManualThis was one of the original manuals written to provide a better understanding of the concepts and procedures needed to evaluate the conditions of streams and rivers. Although dated it still provides valuable inform​ation.
  • Reports and special projectsListed here are select projects and reports where WV Save Our Streams Program played the lead or active role.
  • West Virginia watershedsWhat is a watershed? How is it defined? The answers to these questions and more are provided.
  • Hands-on AMD experimentsEach experiment includes a list of tools and things you will need and provides directions on what to do. You will also be asked to record what you see and what you conclude. The focus is acid mine drainage (AMD).
  • Guide to WV wetland ​floraThe purpose of this resource is to introduce wetland and riparian flora found in the region.
  • Fishes of West VirginiaAn overview of the diversity of fish found within West Virginia waters.

Note: If your organization decides to complete independent surveys that include aquatic collections, you must apply for and receive a Scientific Collection Permit (SCP) from the WVDNR [§20-2-50]. See link below to view an example of the SOS permit. - ​Example SCP