Climate change is altering temperatures and flows in stream ecosystems, which can affect the distribution, diversity, and abundance of biotic communities that are used as a basis for resource management. The lack of continuous temperature and flow data for minimally disturbed, unregulated freshwater wadeable streams is an impediment to analyses of long-term trends in biological, thermal, and hydrologic data. USEPA has been collaborating with east coast states to develop regional reference/climate change monitoring networks that can detect small, progressive changes in stream communities. States in the northeast (CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, RI, and VT) have begun monitoring macroinvertebrates and water temperature at 20-30 references sites, with air and flow data collected at a limited number of sites.
To help facilitate more uniform and effective collection of continuous temperature and water depth data, the USEPA and collaborators (many of whom are leads in this workshop) have developed a guidance document for sampling ungaged sites in wadeable streams. This document addresses equipment needs, installation, maintenance, stream discharge measurements, data retrieval, and data processing. The workshop will use the EPA document as a basis for describing temperature and hydrology monitoring.