Water Sentinels - Protecting America's Waters

The Clean Water Act clearly defines our lakes, rivers, and streams as 'waters of the United States' – as invaluable resources belonging to all Americans. Water Sentinels envision a country where all communities have access to clean drinking water and where the quality and quantities of water in our rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers are protected and managed to sustain the ecosystems on which all life depends. The Sierra Club is engaged on a wide range of water issues at the group and chapter level across the country because waterways are easily impacted by pollution, climate, and development. These issues are not isolated to one or two locales but affect communities and people from coast to coast.

Taos – Tiger Salmanders

Water Sentinels — Rios de Taos has been awarded a grant to encourage student participation in water-monitoring activities and the general environmental activities of the Sierra Club. We will continue to work with Taos High School students — the Tiger Salamanders — and will be contacting other high schools to initiate more student environmental programs. Our long-term goal is to have more student environmental organizations and more young Sierra Club members.

Coordinator Eric Patterson recently received national recognition for his activist program. If you know of any New Mexico student groups who might be interested in participating, please contact Eric Patterson at eepatt@gmail.com or 575-776-2833.

Central Rio Grande – Bosque Sentinels

In the Central Rio Grande area there is also a Bosque Sentinels Program. Select a part of the Bosque that you’d like to monitor: get to know the terrain and report to Open Space if there are litter, fire or vandalism problems. You’ll get to know the different projects that the Army Corps of Engineers, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District or the city are carrying out and be able to interpret those projects to other users.

Learn more

  1. Visit the National Sierra Club Water Sentinels page for information about the program.
  2. Join the Water Sentinels on Facebook.
  3. Join the Water Sentinels Discussion group. From the email address at which you want to receive messages, send an email to LISTSERV@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG. You can leave the subject blank and in the message, write SUBSCRIBE WATER-SENTINELS-DISCUSSION YourFirstName YourLastName.
  4. The coordinator for the Taos Water Sentinels group is Eric Patterson,  eepatt@gmail.com or 575-776-2833.
  5. For more information on the Bosque Water Sentinels, contact savethebosque@gmail.com. Meet a few of our great Bosque Sentinels here.

Photo of Eric Patterson, founder of the Rio de Taos Water Sentinels. From Sierran, January/February 2017 

Water Sentinels news

High e. Coli levels found in Rio Fernando

High e. Coli levels found in Rio Fernando
By Eric Patterson Water Sentinels — Rios de Taos has completed its 2015 monitoring schedule. We have added new members to our monitoring team. Disturbingly, we have found high levels of e. coli in several places in the Rio Fernando ... Read More

Water Sentinels testing and teaching

Photo of the Rio Grande River for Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter website
By Eric Patterson, Water Sentinels— Rios de Taos coordinator Water Sentinels-Rios de Taos were joined by new members Jon Klingel, Meg Peterson, Gaea McGahee, Cliff Collins, Jo Carey, Claire Latowsky, Jim Crowl and Julia Wilson on our first monitoring of ... Read More