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Stream Monitoring

Stream Monitoring

Reston’s Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program
Includes 12 stream sites that are monitored seasonally.

Winter: January and February

Spring: March and April

Summer: July and August

Fall: October and November

Check our environmental volunteer opportunities page for specific dates and other information about stream monitoring.

RA welcomes new volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations throughout Reston. Get involved with a small team during all seasons to collect data and identify insects with the goal of assessing the health of Reston’s streams. Not only do you get to learn about Reston’s streams, it also provides an opportunity to make new friends.

If you are interested in assisting with stream monitoring for more than one or two sessions, training and practice opportunities are offered by joining seasoned volunteers and RA staff. You can earn a stream monitoring certificate after successfully demonstrating your ability to identify macro-invertebrates. Each monitoring session consists of 2-3 hours. Any interest and commitment level is appreciated.

Our program utilizes the Virginia Save Our Streams (VA SOS) method of assessing the water quality in a stream. Based on the type and diversity of aquatic insects found in the stream, you will be able to assess the ecological conditions of the streams. This is known as biological monitoring and is recognized nationally as a reliable indicator of water quality.

The data we collect is entered into the VA SOS database and will be used by county and state officials to assess the overall condition of streams and help determine watershed management initiatives.

To become a monitor, you can get a taste of the program by attending an introductory workshop or monitoring with certified monitors. If interested, contact Watershed Specialist, Will Peterson, at or phone 703435-6535.

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District coordinates Reston’s Stream Monitoring Program. For more information and introductory workshop dates, visit the following link: 

Nature Resources