Participants visit stream sites once per year, anytime between July 1 and Sept. 30, and collect insects and other small organisms from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is recruiting volunteers for the 2018 summer sampling season to assess water quality in local streams and rivers. Participants visit stream sites once per year, anytime between July 1 and Sept. 30, and collect insects and other small organisms from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom. If six or more of the "Most Wanted" organisms are found, the stream segment is assessed as having no known impacts and fully supporting aquatic life.

If mostly "Least Wanted" organisms are found, the stream segment is flagged for further evaluation, according to the DEC.

Data are included in federal and state water quality reports. The agency said this helps and target professional assessments and local restoration or conservation efforts.

All New Yorkers are eligible to participate in the project called. Online training will launch May 1. To learn more visit: . You can also contact WAVE Coordinator Alene Onion by email: wave@dec.ny.gov