Perquimans County Waterway Watch, PCWW, is an organization composed of citizen scientists with the mision 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.
Citizen Scientists take ambient measurements at Racoon Creek, Hertford, NC water sample site. l to r, Bob Escheman, Tom Klusic
PCWW team members collect water samples at Sutton Creek, Perquimans County, NC.
Members of the PCWW team collect water samples from 5 sites once each month six times during the warm seasons. The data and locations are available to the public.
Chowan County citizens scientist group has been studying algal blooms since 2007. They are featured in an Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership article.
NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science sponsors the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) which is a community-based network of volunteers monitoring marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs). PCWW received on-line training on how to collect samples, identify species of fresh water phytoplankton using digital microscopy, and how to report data to the Marine Biotoxins Program.
PMN monitors 5 freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) belonging to the Division Cyanophyta and Class Cyanophyceae. A PMN image Gallery is posted online and NCCOS suports an iphone app, titled Phyto. In 2020 we observed small quantities <5% of bacteria in our water samples.