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 the preferred method of stream study, and is the focus of most (but not all) workshops. A biosurvey is the collection and evaluation of the BMI community, 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. See the link below for information from WVDEP’s Watershed Assessment Branch.

Contact Us

Timothy Craddock, Environmental Resources Specialist Supervisor
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste Management
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0499 x43868
Email: Timothy.D.Craddock@wv.gov

Learn More

  • Stream Monitoring Workshops
    • Description: Included here is need-to-know information about scheduling, studying for and what to expect during a stream monitoring workshop.
  • Standard Operating Procedures
    • Description: Described here are the program's standard operating procedures (SOPs) for completing a biosurvey. These SOPs are designed and intended for the assessment of wadeable streams.
  • Survey Data Sheets
    • Description: Volunteer monitors have a choice of the survey data sheets based upon their level of experience and the thoroughness of the information they wish to collect.
  • Stream Calculations
    • Description: It is very important to correctly assess the data that you collect in order to interpret the results. To be consistent you must maintain a certain level of precision and accuracy in the field and use standard methods when performing all protocols.
  • Benthic Macroinvertebrates - BMIs
    • Description: Provided here are a wide variety of resources that will help you become more familiar with benthic macroinvertebrates. There are examples of simple field guides, family-level manuals and a wide variety of additional resources.
  • Overview of Water Quality
    • Description: Water samples should be collected from the most represented portion of a stream, which is usually the run (a fast moving area without surface breaks) and as close to the downstream end of the reach as possible.
  • Writing Your Monitoring Study Design
    • Description: Provided here is information to help you organize your monitoring plan, or study design. Before deciding to begin it is important that you are able to write your study design. Think carefully about the why, what, where, when and how questions, and consider the (QAQC) measures that are necessary to insure accuracy and precision.
  • Volunteer Assessment Database (VAD)
    • Description: The Volunteer Assessment Dat

      Questions? Please contact:

      abase (VAD) provides tools to enter and access volunteer survey information.
  • U.S. EPA's Volunteer Monitoring Manual
    • Description: U.S. EPA's Volunteer Monitoring: A Methods Manual was written to provide a better understanding of the concepts and procedures needed to evaluateif it's two drives, then the conditions of streams and rivers.
  • Reports and Special Projects
    • Description: Listed here are select projects and reports where WV Save Our Streams Program played the lead or active role.
  • West Virginia Watersheds
    • Description: West Virginia has 32 watersheds divided according to hydrologic unit codes (HUC) that contribute to the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Hands-On Experiments for AMD
    • Description: Acid mine drainage (AMD) is water contaminated when pyrite (iron sulfide) is exposed to air and water.
  • Fishes of West Virginia
    • Description: West Virginia’s waters are blessed with a variety of fish resources, including 178 species and 3 hybrid sport fishes distributed among 24 different families.

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