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Volunteer Water Sentinels are Testing, Mapping, and Tracking our Water!

Aaran Nelson receives her Michigan Chapter Service Award!Aaran Nelson received her Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Service Award for her work developing a set of maps using Google Maps and Google Earth. Photo by Amanda Hightree

Aaran Nelson's Google Mapping Project

Through the years water monitoring has become ever more important in our work.  Questions come up every so often about water monitoring in different parts of Michigan, whether anything is being done in a particular place, if so who was doing it, and what were they doing.  We found that there was no one statewide database with this information.  So we thought why not create one.  We explained our idea to very talented volunteer Aaran Nelson, and she jumped on the chance to create this data base.  A years’ worth of research and map making went into her project.  The results are the wonderfully detailed maps you see linked below. 

The Maps

There are three links to 3 maps that show different types of projects we are tracking.

1)  Water quality monitoring project sites in Michigan. This map shows where Volunteer Water Monitoring is taking place, who is doing it and what they are monitoring for.  (Note, these are not Sierra Club project sites.)

2)  Water quality monitoring sites, plus CAFO facilities.  This map shows a DEQ list of permitted and pending CAFO facilities (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), displayed along with the list of water monitoring sites.

3)  Water quality monitoring sites, plus Coal Ash Storage sites.  This map shows where they are, and whether they are still being actively used as dump sites or if they are now closed.

Purpose
The purpose of this mapping project was to have one website where stakeholders could go for information on locations of water monitoring projects, the different types of projects, the organizations that are doing the monitoring, and to see if there are streams or lakes that might benefit from water quality monitoring.  We hope that these maps will be useful to everyone interested in water quality, and not just the Sierra Club.  If you see outdated information or information that is inaccurate or information we should add please let us know.  This will only be as good as the community that uses it.

Contact
Aaran Nelson has volunteered for the Sierra Club for two years and has been working on this project for much of that time.  She did the research and constructed these maps.  We own Aaran a big thank you for making this idea because a reality.  If you have questions about information, map layout or if you would just like to send an update please contact Aaran and she would be more than happy to answer them. Please also share idea on what would be useful information for your organization and if we can incorporate it we will.

Thank you for taking the time to look over our maps, weI hope you find them informative and helpful in your work.

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