Our second annual "Day in the Life of Euclid Creek" (DITLEC) day, held on Saturday, July 18th was quite different from last year - it was beautiful, warm weather! The inaugural 2014 DITLEC was held on a very chilly, 40 degree October day where participants learned about how we monitor water quality through water chemistry sampling, macroinvertebrate (aquatic bug) monitoring, and electrofishing. And we did it again this year!
What makes this event so cool is the collaborative effort to organize and run the event between Cleveland Metroparks, Friends of Euclid Creek (FOEC), NEORSD, Sierra Club, and City of Cleveland – Division of Water.
The day started with FOEC's water monitoring program manager from Tri-C East, Lou Rifici, who started the chemistry training, followed by demonstrations by Sierra Club Water Sentinel volunteers at Acacia Reservation at the headwaters of Euclid Creek. Then we followed the Main Branch of Euclid Creek down to the Highland Picnic Area in the Euclid Creek Reservation, where the Main Branch and the East Branch join. Here, Metroparks staff led by Claire Weldon, collected macroinvertebrates to show what species of aquatic bugs live in Euclid Creek. We ended the day at Wildwood Park at the mouth of Euclid Creek and Lake Erie, where Metroparks staff demonstrated electrofishing. Aquatic biologist, Mike Durkalec, showed the group how they shock the water from a boat to momentarily stun and collect fish to sample populations and species, resulting in no permanent harm to the fish.
Overall, we collected 12 water quality samples using 3 different methods across 9 different sites. Check out the ‘Outcome Tab’ on the program website to see 2014 and 2015 results.
At the end of the day results were discussed over pizza and salad and raffle winners collected their booty - from rain barrels, to native plants to organizational bling like water bottles and t-shirts.
The result that stood out most for people were the chemistry values for conductivity, which relate to concentrations of dissolved solids in water. High conductivity levels are linked to road salt and some fertilizers, so the fact that conductivity numbers were very high in mid-summer, shows that road salt is still being proceessed in the watershed. Through the Euclid Creek Volunteer Monitoring Program, we see conductivity levels vary seasonally with levels increasing in winter as we salt our roads more, and decreasing through summer and it takes until fall for the levels to normalize. Any elevated level of conductivity is a challenge to the health of aquatic life.
A big thanks go out to all who attended and made the day a great success! Congrats to those of you who went home with raffle prizes. Good luck to everyone in the Clean Water Tour & Sweepstakes! See the Sustainable Cleveland webpage to see other ways to be a part of the Year of Clean Water. And thank you to Patrick Henry for taking amazing photos yet again (about half of the photos are taken by Patrick and half by Claire Posius).
Save the Date for our Third Annual A Day in the Life of Euclid Creek, which is scheduled for July 16th, 2016. Keep an eye out for news about DITLEC from Friends of Euclid Creek and Cleveland Metroparks.
Blog Author: Claire Posius, Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator