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Freeport Area Stream Explorers Wanted for Community Science Project

Do you like to explore? Walk through streams? Care about water quality? Are you looking for an excuse to be outdoors? If you answer yes to those questions, then this community science project, to explore water quality and stream health, is perfect for you.

Maine Audubon, in partnership with Trout Unlimited Merrymeeting Bay chapter, is looking for volunteers to help sample Frost Gully Brook to determine what sensitive, moderately sensitive, and tolerant large aquatic insects (macroinvertebrates) are present in the water, post dam removal. Last summer, the last of the three dams on the Frost Gully Brook system were removed, freeing this tributary that flows into the Harraseeket River, which flows into Casco Bay.

You’ll be working in teams of three or four, sampling at a location in Freeport over the next year. We will provide the training, equipment, maps of the survey streams, and data forms and instructions. You can attend an in-person training on May 16, 5:30-7:30 pm, at Selene’s Fly Shop, 279 Water St, Gardiner (register in advance at or you can do online training by watching two videos which you can find on this web page:

The data collected by community scientists will provide insight into water quality and the overall health of streams and rivers. Large aquatic insects (or macroinvertebrates) are excellent indicators of a changing environment. Some require cold, clean water and high-quality habitat. Others can tolerate warm, polluted water or poor habitat quality. So the presence or absence of different species can inform us about both water quality and the ecological health of a stream. Macroinvertebrates are also an important food source for many other aquatic and semi-aquatic species; and they are often the basis for much of the stream food web. If there are very few insects in the stream, the rest of the aquatic food web will be affected.

If you’re interested in signing up or have any questions, please email