Swim Guide volunteer training in progress

Environmental, Sound Rivers, Volunteers

Posted on May 4th, 2023

Volunteers Caroline Phelan (right) and a new volunteer Bill Yoder (left) watch Sound Rivers Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register demonstrate how to take a water sample.

Swim Guide’s summer launch is just around the corner, which means volunteer trainings are underway.

This week, Sound Rivers’ Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register and Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz were in New Bern and Raleigh, sharing how to take a quality water sample with old and new Swim Guide volunteers.

Making sure the correct process is being observed is part of Taylor’s job.

“My role is really helping to uphold the scientific integrity, so it’s good for me to have a hand in the training,” Taylor said. “We’re really reinforcing the process and making sure everything is done accurately, in a sterile way. That way, we know what we’re putting out to the public is correct.”

The data and its accuracy serve a couple of purposes, she said: it builds confidence in Sound Rivers’ water-quality assessments and the data provides a baseline for Riverkeepers, who are alerted to changes in water quality and will track down the source of pollution.

“Even though it seems like a small thing that our volunteers are doing, it’s important that we have this large body of data so we can track water quality,” Taylor said.

For more information about volunteering, contact Emily Fritz at Want to know what it means to be a Swim Guide volunteer? This video, starring Sound Rivers’ Program Manager Clay Barber, shows exactly what it takes!


The following sites still need volunteers for this summer’s Swim Guide sampling:

The Tar-Pamlico

– Dinah’s Landing at Goose Creek

– Wrights Creek Boating Access Area

– Yankee Hall Road (End of road on Tar River)

– Tar River Reservoir Boat Ramp

– Plum Point (accessible by boat only)

– Havens Garden Boat Ramp

– River Road (on the Tar River)

– Sunset Park Boat Ramp


The Upper Neuse

– Rolling View Boat Ramp

– Buffaloe Road Canoe Launch

– Hickory Hill Boat Ramp

– Barton Creek Boat Ramp

– Ledge Rock Boat Ramp


The Lower Neuse

– Black Beard Sailing Club

– Slocum Creek Boat Ramp (Havelock)

– Maple Cypress Boat Ramp





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