Perquimans County Waterway Watch, PCWW, is an organization composed of citizen scientists with the mission of preserving clean waterways in Perquimans County, North Carolina, situated on the north shores of the Albemarle Sound. The aim of PCWW is to promote awareness of the issues effecting the health of our local waterways, to provide data to further understanding of the causes of Blue-Green algal blooms, and to partner with government, academic, and private organizations in the search for preventative solutions to cynobacteria blooms.
The Waterway Watch team supports several initiatives with the goal of investigating and maintaining water quality in our local waters. Fishing Survey. In partnership with North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, we solicite a fishing creel count and tabulate the data by location, species and date. To participate in this effort, enter data using the Fishing Survey button link above. Nutrient Analyses. As part of a Albemarle Resource Conservation and Development Council program and a partnership with UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, we are part of a program to determine nutrient hot spots that may be contributing to algal blooms, our teams collect water samples for lab analyses. Phytoplankton Monitoring. Trained by NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, our citizen scientists indentify and quantify harmful algal blooms using digital microscopy.
Perquimans County Waterway Watch conducts monthy water quality sampling at 5 locations within the local waters. These locations are on the Perquimans River, the Yeopim River and the Yeopim Creek (the map below shows the locations.) Nutrients in the water samples are sent to North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and also UNC Marine Sciences Institure for nutrient measurements. Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and Oxygen is monitored and data on ambient values are recorded at each collections site.
Algal blloms have been observed along the eastern and western banks of the Perquimans River, in the Pasquotank River near Elizabeth City and on the western shore of the Chowan River. Algae contributing to these blooms have been identified as Dolichospermum, which belongs to the algal group cyanobacteria, or bluegreen algae. Some species of cyanobacteria have the ability to produce toxins, called cyanotoxins, which can adversely affect human health.More About Algal Blooms