The Creek Watcher program offers local citizens the opportunity to participate in the monitoring of their waterways.

Creek Watchers

The Creek Watchers Program is a citizen-science water quality monitoring program that runs throughout the year. This program aims to expand the collection of ambient surface water quality data and engage local citizens in the process of monitoring their waterways. The data collected includes turbidity, temperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. Creek Watchers are trained to conduct independent visual and chemical analyses and are expected to complete monthly testing at their assigned station and submit monthly reports to Charleston Waterkeeper.

Creek Watcher’s goal is to offer local citizens the opportunity to participate in the monitoring of their waterways. The more people we have out in the field conducting analysis and recording data, the better we know the conditions of our creeks and rivers. This information and data can help to protect and improve our local waterways.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I learn to conduct analyses?

All of our Creek Watchers participate in a four-hour training session. At the end of the training, there is a certification exam. Upon completing the training and passing the exam, one is officially a Certified Creek Watcher.

Do I have to come from a science background or have previous experience in order to become a Creek Watcher?

No! Everything you need to know to conduct analysis will be covered in the training session.

How often does a Creek Watcher sample?

A Creek Watcher samples once a month

How long does it take to sample?

Time spent on monthly testing currently averages about 1 hour.

What parameters are we testing?

Chemical parameters include Dissolved Oxygen, Salinity, pH, Temperature, Turbidity

Do I need to have a boat or a private dock to participate?

We assign our Creek Watchers to a station that is publicly accessible and safe.

Can I sample off of my own dock?

Yes, but in order to sample off of your private dock, we ask that you make a donation for your own kit.

Is it free?

Yes and No. If you would like to sample at one of our stations, the sampling kit is provided by Charleston Waterkeeper. If you would like to choose your own site (i.e. private dock) we ask that you make a donation for your kit.

What if I cannot make it one month to sample?

No worries! We understand life gets busy sometimes. We ask that you let us know if you can’t sample and we will sample for you. We just need to have enough notice to ensure someone is available to cover.

How do I start the process of becoming a Creek Watcher?


Can I sponsor a Creek Watcher?

Yes! If you do not want to go out and sample every month, but want to give someone else the opportunity to do so, you can make a donation online here: and check the box “I’d like to make my contribution in honor or memory of someone” and input In honor of  “Creek Watchers”