WWKY feels ordinary citizens can help broaden a community’s understanding of water quality science. WWKY’s guiding principle of “delivering science to the people and people to the water’s edge” begins with a process of public engagement, education, and action. Attracting and developing citizen scientists is a key component to growing the volunteer base. The curious community volunteer interested in understanding and protecting local water quality generally has a commitment to investigate more closely the world in which they live. This includes supporting and engaging in scientific investigation and analyses, and seeking feedback to understand their observations. WWKY builds off volunteer interests to create an engaged public that can recognize, document, and interpret water quality parameters. Then these volunteers are armed with the information needed to help implement actions that maintain and improve the quality of their specific waterway.
To collect water samples from rivers and streams of local or strategic interest. WWKY is composed of a partnership between many stakeholders within the state, including water professionals, academic faculty, Kentucky Division of Water, Sierra Club, and the Kentucky Waterways Alliance. Through WWKY these stakeholders come together to train citizens from across the state in the organizations Core Monitoring Program:
- To make scientific field observations and obtain laboratory analyses about waters in their neighborhood.
- To understand and communicate the results of water sample analyses and the potential impact upon their personal lives, their communities and environment to others, including community leaders. Volunteers can also organize and advocate for change, when necessary.