Benthic Monitoring (Counting and Classifying Bugs)
Kawartha Conservation uses benthic monitoring to assess water quality. Benthos are aquatic organisms that live on the bottom of a lake, and are indicators of water and habitat quality. Sampling is conducted during the spring and fall.
Benthics monitoring is carried out through the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network (OBBN), introduced by the Ministry of the Environment in 2003. The OBBN is based on the principles of partnership, free data sharing, and standardization.
Volunteers assist with this program through Kawartha Water Watch (KWW). Together, volunteers and Kawartha Conservation staff select sampling sites, which currently number 10. Volunteers are provided with a one day OBBN training workshop. When the volunteers are prepared to sample, the required equipment is available to borrow from Kawartha Conservation.