Friends of the Baltic non-government organization took part in a meeting with representatives of civil initiatives (23.12.18 Trava party) from St.Petersburg and Leningrad region. During the event we shared some methods and expertise of civil science. Friends of the Baltic are using tested methods of public monitoring while working to determine the quality of water in the water bodies of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. The study of water is conducted according to several indicators - determination of content of nitrates in the water and concentration of micro-plastic.
In order to conduct such studies ones do not need any specialized education or trainings, the techniques can be quickly learned. For example, using nitrate strips is an express method for nitrate content determination, so the hole process requires only 2 minutes and simple resources. The technique is described in detail in the manual River Watch (http://baltfriends.ru/sites/default/files/RW_manual_Appendix_7_Nutrients.pdf).
Determination of microplastics in water objects is a little more complicated. It is necessary to take samples and then analyze them with a microscope to calculate the number of microplastics particles (otherwise the particles are not seen). http://baltfriends.ru/sites/default/files/attachment_9.pdf Moreover, you can participate in data gathering about cosmetic products containing microplastics. You can find the information on this topic in the description of the community "Vkontakte" dedicated to microplastics pollution https://vk.com/microbead
Despite the simplicity of the research process, citizen science makes a significant contribution - the collection of statistical data that will later help monitoring the dynamics of pollution, identify hot spots and possible sources that need to be affected to reduce pollution. Civtizen science helps to spread the knowledge about environmental problems and eco-friendly solutions on individual level, as well as involves people in research and unites the society.