Excerpt: Smith River floaters will be asked next year to help the state document algae blooms in what officials are calling a “test pilot” project for citizen science on one of Montana’s most renowned rivers.
As letters go out next year to the winners of highly coveted float permits, they will come with a request to download a yet-to-be-completed cellphone app. Once downloaded, floaters may take photos of algae blooms and upload the data to state officials after takeout.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will then have the data as the agencies study a recent increase in reports of algae in the river.
“This is a new one for us as we’re really looking at how to retool our citizen engagement, and getting people on the ground,” said Eric Urban, water quality planning bureau chief with DEQ. “It’s pretty remote, so getting on the ground and seeing it ourselves poses some challenges.”
Source: Kuglin, T., 2017. Smith River float permit winners will be asked to help document algae on their adventures, 21 September 2017. Available at a href=”http://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/smith-river-float-permit-winners-will-be-asked-to-help/article_68bffda6-5b99-5f50-99ab-8745ac2fd222.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>http://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/smith-river-float-permit-winners-will-be-asked-to-help/article_68bffda6-5b99-5f50-99ab-8745ac2fd222.html [Last accessed 2 October 2017].