Mayfly larva on stream bottom
This study has three long-term scientific and education goals:
- To establish baseline data that can be used to describe and evaluate water and habitat quality (current and long-term) in the Schuylkill River basin based on aquatic macroinvertebrates collected from numerous locations distributed throughout the basin,
- To make this assessment available to local education outreach and community groups in order to encourage efforts to assess, improve, and/or protect water quality in these streams and rivers, and
- To provide local college students experience in a long-term scientific study, collecting and processing scientific data that will be compared to past data and used in future studies.
It is important to keep in mind that an assessment of current water and habitat quality in the Schuylkill River and its tributaries reflects both past and recent anthropogenic activities. Some scars from past anthropogenic activities are no longer evident while others remain, although time or mitigation may have concealed them or lessened their impact. As a result, caution should be applied in the interpretation of monitoring data when only observations of recent anthropogenic activities are available.