Taos teens keep our streams clean

By Eric Patterson, Water Sentinels — Rios de Taos

It’s been a busy summer so far for Water Sentinels and our youth group, the Tiger-Salamanders. Here are some highlights:

May 6: The Taos High School Tiger-Salamanders attended a fishing derby at Eagle Rock Lake near Questa. They monitored water on the lake and on the Red River and did some fishing afterward.

May 20-21: Sentinels coordinators attended a conference in Washington, D.C., with other Water Sentinel leaders and Sierra Club staff to discuss the Club’s position on water quality. It was agreed that current leaders will help different chapters to establish water-monitoring.

May 21: Tiger-Sentinels presented their research projects at the annual Enchanted Circle Chapter of Trout Unlimited fundraising banquet. It was announced that Chanelle Medrano would be attending the Student Sierra Coalition SPROG workshop in Colorado, and that Daniel Romero would receive an award from the National Wildlife Federation in June. Daniel also received the Sierra Club’s annual Aldo Leopold Scholarship, awarded to a Taos High School senior for outstanding environmental work.

May 28: Sentinels leaders demonstrated water-monitoring techniques to the backpacking leaders at Philmont Scout Ranch. The Scouts are hoping to have water-monitoring as one of the goals of Scouts who attend outings at Philmont from all over the country.

June 4: Sentinel Jim Morgan awarded fishing rods and SC backpacks to winners of the youth fishing derby at Lake Maloya.

June 8: Sentinels held a training session in Valdez.

June 9: First water-monitoring of the 2016 season. High e. coli levels were found in the Rio Fernando again. Our next monitoring dates are July 6 and August 31.

June 25: The Annual Taos River and Land cleanup, co-sponsored by Sierra Club Water Sentinels for the last 10 years, collected trash and recyclables from rivers, streamsides and illegal dump sites in Taos County.  About eighty community members participated.

In July, Sentinels will travel to southeastern New Mexico to monitor water quality in several sites on the Pecos River. We are particularly interested in testing where there may be contamination from dairy operations. If you have concerns about possible pollution on the Pecos, please contact Eric Patterson at eepatt@gmail.com.

As always, if any Sierra  Club Group would like to start a water monitoring project, please let us know.

Taos teens keep our streams clean