Monitoring project gathers baseline data

The Elk County Conservation District held its regular meeting Monday night to discuss the progress of the Elk County Monitoring Project.Watershed specialist Kim Bonfardine announced that data loggers have been deployed and have recorded two weeks' worth of baseline data in the Big Mill Creek and Bear Creek watersheds.Bonfardine plans to have all 12 data loggers in Elk County streams by October.Project interns have built six housing units for the data loggers."That's what our interns did this summer and our maintenance staff agreed to finish the rest of them for me since they watched and helped the kids build them," Bonfardine said. "I will also be helping Bruce Dickson install a few of his permanent stations."Water sampling training was conducted Sept. 17 to assist the volunteer collectors with the use of their equipment."Currently we are researching database options to store data logger information and water quality data that volunteers have been collecting," Bonfardine said. "I am also attending source water protection meeting for Ridgway and Jay Townships."To date, the Conservation District has purchased 11 real-time remote satellite monitors, also known as YSI Sonde; 12 Solinst data loggers and supplies to build housing units; one laptop; and one GPS unit to gather the elevation, latitude and longitude.