What is Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Sampling?
The number and type of bugs found in a stream are an indicator of river health. Based on the bugs collected at a testing site, we're able to give that stretch of river a water quality rating according to standards set by the Michigan Clean Water Corps program (MICorps). The Shiawassee Stream Team is an extension of the MICorps program.
With an emphasis on collecting high-quality data, groups of volunteers from around the watershed are trained to collect samples of benthic macro-invertebrates (water bugs!). We refer to these groups as Stream Teams. The data collected each year builds a long-term record that assists local and state governments, research institutions, and other community organizations gain a better sense of river health and to quickly recognize and address pollution problems.
Our goal is to help communities and motivate local governments to protect water quality by providing them with data on the river's health...and to have fun while doing it!