Citizen scientists keeping an eye on P.E.I. rivers
Islanders watching for anoxic events
A pilot program this summer to continuously monitor P.E.I. rivers for anoxic events includes help from citizen scientists.
The P.E.I. Environment Department wants to have a better idea when anoxic events are occurring and how long they last.
Hot weather and excess nutrients can combine to create a short-lived bloom of plant life in rivers. When the plants die and rot, they suck the oxygen out of the water. These anoxic events can drive fish out of whole sections of rivers, and kill less mobile animals such as shellfish.
Some anoxic events are so severe even the fish can't escape.
The Environment Department has recruited a number of people to monitor and log conditions in their local estuaries.
"Most of them are interested because they're people that are out on the rivers or live close to the rivers," said provincial surface water biologist Cindy Crane.
"They're kayakers, they're cottagers, they're homeowners that live nearby, and they have an interest in water quality and what's happening."
So far this year, there have been reports of four Island rivers experiencing anoxic events.
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With files from Noah Richardson