New mobile app gives anyone the tools to be a citizen scientist


NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – Trout Unlimited has released a new mobile application called RIVERS. The acronym stands for “River Inventory by Volunteers for Efficient Restoration Strategies.”

The long name is part of a big goal – to help Trout Unlimited and White River Watershed Partnership managers plan restoration projects by recording degraded habitat locations. To do this, the organizations developed a downloadable app to enlist the help of anglers and citizen scientists – volunteers who share scientific insights about places they love. 

For example, two men paddling on the Newaygo County river added information on the eroded culvert to the RIVERS app and shared it with the Newaygo County Road Commission. The issue was fixed less than a week later. Their report protected fish habitat and helped fix the road infrastructure.

“Our goal is to minimize any negative effects on natural habitat while maintaining our network of county roads,” said Kelly Smith, Newaygo County Road Commission manager.

Trout Unlimited and the White River Watershed Partnership hope that Trout Unlimited chapters, watershed associations and other partners across the state will use RIVERS to catalog potential restoration projects and prioritize them when funding opportunities arise.

For more information on the app, click here.

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