Help protect the rivers and streams of Frederick County
every time you head outdoors
Use Water Reporter to share experiences and report pollution sightings directly to Friends of Frederick County and connect with other users in the county
Friends of Frederick County has just joined Water Reporter. To use this service to protect our streams and rivers, we need you! Your participation with Water Reporter empowers us to keep an eye on Frederick County’s rivers and streams. Dive into how Water Reporter works in the following post and then go sign up!
What is Water Reporter?
Water Reporter is the mobile app and online social network that crowdsources waterway stewardship. The app sends user experiences to local environmental organizations keep a pulse on their local waterways and solve pollution issues. The location where a user submits a report is logged so that everyone else in the community can go online and explore experiences on a community map or the news feed.
Every report submitted by a user is extremely valuable to us. Because all reports are automatically geolocated, we can keep tabs on everything happening in watersheds of Frederick County without anyone having to hunt us down to let us know of something they found outside. The more reports that are submitted in Frederick County, the better understanding we will have of the health of our rivers and how our local citizens use them. Anyone can sign up for a free account at waterreporter.org and download the app at iTunes or Google Play to participate.
How does Water Reporter Work?
When outdoors, use the Water Reporter app to take and share photos of your experiences. The photo subject matter is totally up to you. Share everyday experiences – like favorite paddling spots, views of local wildlife or artistic shots of scenic vistas – or warn us of a potential pollution threat – like trash in streams, runoff into sewers, or discolored water due to nearby construction. The app puts a pin on a community map at the exact location on the Water Reporter website and adds the report to the community news feed. What’s more, FOFC gets an immediate email notification of every new report submitted within the watersheds in our county so if we need to take immediate action, we can.
Why did FoFC join Water Reporter?
To protect our county’s streams and rivers we need to monitor their health: Are they flowing free and clear? Are there pollution threats we need to address? Are there certain areas our community really values that need better protection? That’s where you come in. To be effective, we need as many eyes keeping watch on our rivers as possible. Water Reporter makes communicating all your experiences to us, and each other, effortless. As long as you keep submitting reports then we can stay on top of our waterways’ needs. Joining Water Reporter was a smart business decision for us because it welcomes anyone to join to submit reports for free – we didn’t need to go out and hire developers to create a system and new workflow just for us. We can then turn around and use all the submitted reports to make smart decisions about the future of our rivers and streams and help local government agencies manage their efforts too.
Why should I join Water Reporter?
Your experiences are critical to the effective stewardship of Frederick County’s rivers and streams. Joining Water Reporter is an excellent way to help FOFC meet our mission to protect our county’s rivers and streams without much effort. The information that you collect will be of interest to more than just FOFC – other community members get to see your posts too. Think of Water Reporter as the social network for the great outdoors. Did we mention that if we take action on a report that you submit we can “close” the report online and provide comments so you know what steps we took to resolve an issue? It’s important to us that transparency stays at the forefront of watershed protection and fulfilling that desire is easy with Water Reporter. All the information stays public in one place that anyone can easily access online both on maps and on a scrolling news feed.
What sort of reports should we submit?
FOFC asks that volunteers keep an eye out for: trash and debris, foamy or discolored water, cattle in water, disturbed settlement, large algal blooms, fish kills, or active outfalls on dry days. But really, any submitted report helps us to vigilantly understand the state of rivers and streams in our county so it can be better managed and enjoyed for now and future generations.
How do I know if I’m still within Frederick County Watershed Boundaries?
Whenever you’re in a watershed of interest to FOFC, we automatically get a notification in our inbox – you don’t need to do anything special. You can use the Water Reporter app anywhere across the US and your reports will be added to the Water Reporter community map and news feed. Reports will be shared with the appropriate environmental leaders in the local geography. In fact, we’d love for you to recommend downloading Water Reporter to anyone you know that is active outdoors.