28 September 2007

Gettin' Wet and Dirty

Tomorrow I'm participating in StreamSearch with the River Raisin Watershed Council. The Raisin is allegedly the windiest river in the world, and its upper stretches go through some amazingly undeveloped country (amazing considering we're smack in the middle of farm country). It also may be threatened by the waste from some local CAFOs, and other sources of agricultural runoff.

So tomorrow I'll be donning waders and wielding a net as we search for insects, in an effort to determine the health of the river. Insect counts have been down in the past few years, but there's no obvious reason why they should be, and the Watershed Council Director, Adrian College Biologist Jim Martin suspects it may just be the human variable in past StreamSearches.

Hopefully we'll collect lots of bugs, providing evidence the Raisin is still healthy.

On a side note, during training, my 10 year old daughter and I found a bloodworm. Dr. Martin said they actually have hemoglobin. I'm a Political Scientist, not a Biologist, so the idea of a worm having hemoglobin is really bizarre to me. It shows once again that it pays to hang out with people of different specialties--you'll learn all kinds of wild stuff.

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