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  • Writer's pictureericjcarrig

Testing water and bugs to solve an invisible problem, save the Snot Otter, and shape local action.

Ann Marie Traylor, the Executive Director of the Environmental Quality Institute (EQI) (, leads a team of volunteers who gather data to help stop chemicals from poisoning streams, bugs, amphibians, birds and so on up the food chain.

When it rains, water carries fertilizer, salt, and other chemicals from industrial and small farms, roofs, roads, parking lots and leaky sewage pipes to streams and creeks where bugs, fish and amphibians live.

This can make the water unsafe to play in and drink. Meanwhile, the chemicals travel with the insects, amphibians and fish to birds and land animals ... and hunters, fishermen, and their families.

EQI tests stream and lake water for chemical and physical properties snd samples streams for bugs to provide a greater understanding of water quality and habitat changes.

It uses the data it collects to provide local non-profits, government and citizens with a color-coded map of the water quality of streams in the region it serves. These groups can take the data to the farmers and industries and collaborate to find ways s to reduce the flow of chemicals into the water.

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