Citizen science in freshwater rivers

Citizen science actively involves citizens in science that generates new knowledge or understanding. Experience by LAWPRO in the 2nd RBMP cycle has shown that it engages people and by involving the public in the monitoring of rivers it increased local knowledge and potential for data.

Objective


To develop a consensus on the most suitable approach for citizen science in Ireland, LAWPRO supported by the EPA, have engaged with the practitioners, agencies, trainers and community groups interested in citizen science. A series of workshops and training days to develop a strategy was organised. This led to the development of a brand new scheme – a Citizen Science Stream Index (CSSI) suitable for beginners and the adoption of the Small Stream Impact Score (SSIS) used by scientists for the more advanced practitioners.

Next Steps


  • The schemes are being trialled with the support of locally led catchment projects (e.g., Norevision, Maigue RT, Inishownen RT, Farming for the Blue Dot EIP)
  • Currently being rolled out across LEADER areas via bespoke Water Training developed by LAWPRO and the Rural Development Companies (inc. IRD Duhallow)
  • The National Biodiversity Data Centre are currently developing the online repository.
  • Animation for the 3rd RBMP cycle is currently undergoing planning

Funding


This initiative is supported through LAWPRO and the EPA, with support from UCD (Dr. Mary Kelly Quinn), UCC (Dr. Simon Harrison) and numerous other collaborators. If you would like to get involved please contact info@lawaters.ie