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River Patrol

River Patrol

The River Patrol is a volunteer-based program designed to increase St. Johns Riverkeeper's ability to monitor the St. Johns River and its tributaries and to increase the visibility of our organization in the community. The River Patrol is a "river watch" program that monitors water quality and habitat conditions, documents any problems that are encountered, and reports them to the appropriate regulatory agency. River Patrol members also assist with research projects, outreach events and cleanups. 

Why is the River Patrol important?

Due to limited resources, the Riverkeeper cannot be out on the water all the time and is unable to respond to and investigate every problem that arises. Yet, spills and other harmful environmental incidents occur on a regular basis, and often without the knowledge of the St. Johns Riverkeeper or the regulatory agencies responsible for enforcing our environmental laws. Without the River Patrol, many problems would go unnoticed and unresolved.

Who are the members of the River Patrol?

The River Patrol is made up of St. Johns Riverkeeper members who engage the St. Johns River and its tributaries on a regular basis: in a motor boat, sailboat, kayak or canoe. However, you don't have to own a boat to be member of the River Patrol! You can patrol by foot or by bike, observe your surroundings while fishing from the shore, or assist other Patrol members in their boats. River patrollers help us monitor the river for pollution problems, possible violations, injured wildlife and navigation hazards. 

What are the qualifications to be a River Patrol member?

We only ask that you be a current St. Johns Riverkeeper member, that you send an email to Volunteer Program Manager Megan Riggs (megan@stjohnsriverkeeper.org) and submit issues or violations on the Water Rangers app. You don't have to have any particular expertise to participate. We just ask that you be observant when you're out on the water or in your everyday life. If you see possible illegal discharges, pumping from boats, muddy water leaving construction sites, streamside wetlands being filled, endangered wildlife or anything that appears unusual, help out by contacting the appropriate regulatory agency.

Need further information?

Read the River Patrol Handbook.

If you're really interested in getting involved, join our River Patrol Steering Committee by attending an upcoming meeting! We hold River Patrol meetings bimonthly to discuss upcoming events and outings, you are encouraged to attend. View upcoming meeting dates on our Events page.

Email Megan Riggs Volunteer Program Manager at megan@stjohnsriverkeeper.org for additional questions. 

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The River Patrol Steering Committe Members at Oyster Roast 2018. Members from left to right: Alex Sawyer, Dee Stephens, Lowell Stephens, Peter Welch, Beth Welch, Steve Cobb, and Roger Linville. (missing Walton Cheney). 

River Patrol Captain Lowell Stephens in our boat, the Kingfisher River Patrol Captain Lowell Stephens in our boat, the Kingfisher
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