CCPaSEC logoCentre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps

at ClearWater Conservancy


2008 Meeting Highlights

January 9, 2008 - General Meeting - Mick McKay (QC) reported on Alkalinity Testing. Alkalinity is a measure of all the materials in water that can resist a change in pH when acid is added. They provide a buffering capability. Well-buffered surface water systems have alkalinity values of 20 to 300 mg/L. An alkalinity above 75 mg/L is recommended. The analysis procedure notebook states to "add acid until the sample turns pink". Cheryl Snyder, from DEP confirmed - "HACH ... told us to titrate the alkalinity test until we saw a color change from blue to purplish pink." If teams have been over titrating and choose to modify their techniques as above, please note this change on the Physical/Chemical Data Monitoring Sheet. View the Alkalinity Info Sheet.

Election of Officers was held. All officers for the year 2007 were unanimously approved to serve in the corresponding capacity for 2008.

Meeting with Clearwater Conservancy representatives - Several members of our chapter met with representatives of Clearwater Conservancy to explore the possibility of creating a partnership between the two organizations. Some details of a partnership were discussed. The Clearwater Board of Directors will also meet to discuss this partnership.

Representatives from the DEP will be invited to the February's general meeting to provide information on how they might provide support for our monitoring efforts and on what projects they might need our assistance in Centre County.

A Monitoring Data CD has been received by Doug Macneal from EASI. It contains our monitoring data through December 14, 2007. The DEP has offered possible assistance on providing a host for our data in the future. It was recommended that we continue to keep hard copies of each monitoring session's data. If the DEP is not able to provide a host for our data, then we will explore other alternatives.

March 12, 2008 - General Meeting - Jennifer Shuey, Executive Director of Clearwater Conservancy was present to answer questions regarding the proposed merger of Centre County PaSEC with Clearwater. - After review of the merger document by the membership, members voted to accept the merger agreement between Centre County PaSEC and Clearwater Conservancy. The merger document will be presented to Clearwater's Board of Directors. Mick McKay was appointed to represent our PaSEC on Clearwater's Board of Directors if their directors approve the merger agreement.

Representatives from the DEP will attend the general meeting in April to provide information on how they might provide support for our monitoring efforts and on what projects they might need our assistance in Centre County.

Mick McKay presented a Quality Control report on phosphates.

April 9, 2008 - General Meeting - Diane Wilson and Cheryl Snyder presented information on how the DEP could help Centre County PaSEC by supplying kits and chemicals and possibly hosting the EASI MonitorAnything database on the Department's web servers. Eventually, the database will be rebuilt so that it will be compatible with DEP's data. The Department of Aging will try to provide networking for SEC members and possibly regional meetings.

Cheryl Snyder gave a presentation on the statewide Citizens Volunteer Monitoring Program (CVMP). Current Projects involve seniors, kids, and lake associations to help them understand water resources, collect quality volunteer data and act as a liaison to other DEP programs and outsiders. The purposes of monitoring are education and awareness, data collection for baseline information, determining restoration effectiveness and for state and federal agency use. She discussed two types of restoration projects, Natural Stream Channel Design (NSCD) Monitoring and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Monitoring.

Diane and Cheryl discussed nitrates testing. They suggested checking accuracy by testing using the Standard Solution for Nitrates.

May 14, 2008 - General Meeting - Angela Bransteitter, Water Pollution Biologist at PA DEP, and Kevin Kelly, Aquatic Biologist, PA DEP presented the Bacteria Sampling Project details at the meeting. They explained the Bacteria Sampling Procedures for a cooperative project between citizen volunteer monitors and PA DEP. Two sites from our area will be monitored this year, Penns Creek and Spring Creek. Doug Macneal's Team will do sampling on Penns Creek and John Winnett's Team on Spring Creek. Two local labs will do the analyses. Fecal coliform bacteria data will only be collected on streams rated as high quality for potable water supply, fish consumption, aquatic life, and recreation. Test results will provide data for the streams to be considered for listing as having excellent quality (having less than 200 bacteria colonies per 100 milliliter sample). Angela and Kevin will return with a follow-up report on the results of the data collected.

EASI Database Printouts - Joyce McKay prepared and distributed to each team a print out of recorded stream site data, complete with graphs, from the former EASI database. Joyce has asked for each Team to make comparisons with hard copies of monitoring data and report to her any changes to be made at the next meeting.

A Picnic Committee consisting of Genie Robine, Mick McKay, Steve Lupis and Doug Macneal was formed to plan the August picnic. More discussion will follow at the June General Meeting.

June 11, 2008 - General Meeting - Jennifer Shuey, Executive Director of ClearWater Conservancy, and Terry Melton, master gardener, led us on a tour of ClearWater Conservancy's gardens. They showed the rain gardens, the bank-meadow experiment, the rain barrel, and the native plant gardens - all part of the ClearWater Techniques for Watershed Wise Backyards and Businesses.

Laurie Jeffreys presented the revisions to be made on the Constitution and Bylaws which were then approved. View the Revised Constitution and Bylaws. (pdf)

The Bacteria Sampling Project with DEP on Penns Creek and Spring Creek is progressing with no reported problems.

Steve Lupis requests that all teams inventory their monitoring kits for needed supplies prior to September's Quality Control Meeting. An order will be submitted to the DEP.

Hospitality committee members Ellen Perry and Laurie Jeffreys planned a luncheon at the Gamble Mill for Thursday, July 24th, to show our appreciation to the RSVP staff for their efforts on PaSEC's behalf. All members are encouraged to attend. Contact Ellen or Laurie for more details.

PaSEC will be joining in the ClearWater Conservancy Picnic at the Fisher Farm on Buffalo Run, Sunday, July 27th from noon to 3:00 pm

July 24, 2008 - Recognition Luncheon for RSVP and Council on Aging Staff - Many PaSEC members joined Jane Taylor, Brenda Reeve and Shelley Miller, at the Gamble Mill Restaurant in Bellefonte, to thank and recognize them for their exemplary support and oversight of PaSEC from 2002-2007. Doug Macneal presented framed certificates of appreciation to each honoree. Bonnie Everett was also awarded a certificate of appreciation in absentia.
July 27, 2008 - Clearwater-PaSEC Picnic - Nine PaSEC members joined Clearwater Conservancy members at the Fisher Farm along Buffalo Run for a great picnic and entertainment to celebrate the conservation easement for the farm, obtained by Barbara & John Fisher. Richard Wylie provided music. Wagon tours of the farm were given as well as stream walks guided by Geoff Smith, Water Resources Coordinator for Clearwater. An archaeology station was available showing exhibits of Native American artifacts from the Centre County Area.

October 8, 2008 - General Meeting - Nine members were present at the meeting. Angela Bransteitter of the DEP's Bacterial Monitoring Project sent a letter summarizing the results of Penn's Creek and Spring Creek sampling. Both creeks earned an "attaining" status for recreational use. A letter from Senator Jake Corman was summarized which concerned the delayed legislative action on the Rockview Land Transfer. The purchase of new pH and conductivity meters using a discount offer from YSI was discussed and dismissed. Steve Lupis will conduct a training day for new members. He also placed orders through DEP and ClearWater Conservancy for chemicals. All of the chemical data for our current stream sites from the now defunct EASI database have been posted on the website. Joyce McKay asked for volunteers for a website committee to oversee revision of the site, since our joining ClearWater Conservancy necessitates changes. Our PaSEC brochure will be revised as well. A volunteer is needed to take over the membership list duties.

September 10, 2008 - Quality Control Session - Ten Teams had members present at the Quality Control Workshop & Kit Check. The workshop was held at Laurel Haven Environmental Education Center in Julian. Meter batteries were checked and replaced if needed; pH and conductivity readings were taken on standard solutions; sulfates readings were taken on a standard solution and on a sample from Buffalo Run; equipment and chemical inventories were done and expired or missing chemicals were replaced.

November 12, 2008 - General Meeting - Eleven members were present at the meeting. Doug Macneal presented a letter which will be forwarded to the DEP in support of their EPA Grant - Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging: Training and Demonstration Projects. Mick McKay gave a Quality Control report comparing 5 teams' monitoring data with independent lab data for the same sites to determine the precision of the readings. Joyce McKay reported the formation of the Website committee. It will meet in the next few months to work on website revisions. She also presented a new system for monitoring data entry and storage using Google Documents. Teams will begin using this system shortly. New members will be contacted for a chemical monitoring Training Day. A volunteer is needed to take over the membership list duties. Ellen Perry will chair an Operational Guidelines committee to develop policies and guidelines on memorials, recognitions, and special gifts.

December 10, 2008 - General Meeting - Brian Querry from the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Centre County was introduced to our CCPaSEC membership. He will provide information at our next meeting concerning the insurance RSVP provides for their volunteers. A few minor revisions to the wording for our organization description in the Centre County Giude to Conservation Groups were suggested. Ann Donovan will take care of the wording changes. A Training Day for new members will be scheduled for March or April at the Pleasant Gap Hatchery Visitors' Center. Our new website host will be More information on the new website will be available at the next meeting. An updated membership list is in the works and will be completed soon. There will be no January 2009 meeting. The next meeting will be February 11, 2009, 9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Cafeteria.


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