Vounteer Data Disclaimer
The information contained in this document/database has been collected by volunteers. The results that are reported have been measured and documented in good faith and to the best of the volunteer's ability. Nothing in this document should be used to the detriment of the volunteer/property owner, their property, or the program in which they are involved. It must also be understood that volunteers collect information voluntarily and that there are limitations to volunteer data.
Most volunteer program participants collect information about their watersheds and surface waters because they want to learn more about the health of their watershed. They also want to provide sound information to resource managers to use as a tool to better protect natural resources. Volunteer data by definition should serve as a preliminary source of information only to be followed up when necessary with more formal types of monitoring.
Depending on the information needed, volunteer data may or may not be appropriate. Volunteer data provides a wealth of information that might not otherwise be known. It provides a baseline that can be used to compare data of similar origin. It provides time trends to compare over different months, seasons, years. It provides information based on weather; dry season versus wet. It is important, however, to use data in the context of the question being asked.
This document serves as guidance for those using the data. It is important for those using the information not to penalize the volunteers or property owners who are providing the information. If a situation arises in which human activities are negatively impacting a surface water, local authorities must be willing to:
- educate the responsible party and offer them a chance to correct the problem
- establish an acceptable period of time to correct the problem
For more information: