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Phytoplankton Monitoring Program Training

April 9, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

volunteers look into a microscope

Make a difference for public health

Join a network of trained volunteers who provide real-time data to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, alerting the Department to the presence – or absence – of potentially harmful algal blooms, also known as HAB or Red Tide.

From early spring to late fall, phytoplankton monitoring volunteers use a plankton net to take weekly water samples at a site in South Bristol. They then transport the sample to the Water Quality Lab at Coastal Rivers’ Nature Center at Salt Bay Farm, and count cells using a microscope.

Because the samples are collected at high tide, sampling times will vary throughout the year. Volunteers will be able to pick and choose which dates work for them using an online calendar (shared during the training). The microscope work takes an average of three to four hours.

New volunteers should be aware that this work is not for the faint of heart, and can be a significant commitment! However, it is fascinating, and very rewarding. The cells are often prismatic within silica coverings and there are usually quick-moving zooplankton cells to see as well. I hope you will not be intimidated – there is a lot to learn initially, but we have a fabulous core group of trained volunteers and staff ready to support you as you learn.

The team training will take place (mostly) outdoors. We will start at the Christmas Cove sample site (location to be provided), then travel to the lab at Salt Bay Farm for a tour and some practice identifying cells. Masking is required indoors at the lab.

How to register

To register, please email Sarah at sgladu@coastalrivers.org to let her know you are interested in the Phytoplankton Monitoring Program.


April 9, 2022
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust
Maine Department of Marine Resources