The Mississippi Water Stewards program (MSWS) currently offers two types of water quality monitoring certifications. A monitor may participate in MSWS by any or all these certifications.

  • Water Chemistry Monitoring: Water chemistry monitors are trained in areas of water science, water chemistry monitoring, and data interpretation. Water chemistry monitors help monitor local waterbodies for potentially unhealthy conditions, such as high levels of pollutants or low dissolved oxygen.
  • Bacteriological Monitoring: Bacterial monitors are trained in areas of water science, bacteriological monitoring, and data interpretation. Bacterial monitors help monitor local watersheds for potentially unhealthy conditions, such as wildlife or human waste contamination.
  • Stream Biomonitoring: Training combines a stream bio assessment with field collection of macroinvertebrates to calculate biotic index. Being trained in biomonitoring methods is a great way to assess waterbody health, enable youth to visualize how healthy ecosystems supports living organisms, and may indicate if water quality is impaired beyond recommended water quality standards.


MSWS Volunteer Trainers will be required to adhere to MSWS training protocols to maximize consistency and integrity between our monitoring groups and to ensure the quality of the data collected by each citizen. The MSWS program depends on Volunteers Trainers to meet the demand for training workshops across Mississippi and experienced monitors are encouraged to consider becoming trainers when the program is made available in 2021.

Types of Trainers

  • Bacteriological Monitoring Trainer
  • Water Chemistry Monitoring Trainer
  • Stream Biomonitoring Trainer


To remain certified and continue to submit data to MSWS, certified monitors are required to complete an initial recertification one year after their initial certification, and every two years thereafter. Monitors need to be recertified in each monitoring type that they want to continue to collect and submit data for (chemistry, bacteriological, and/or biomonitoring). Citizen monitors must complete recertification to maintain access to data submission forms, supplies, and training materials.

  • Water Chemistry Monitoring: Sampling and water chemistry methodology will be reviewed, each monitor will be observed by MSWS staff to ensure methods are used properly, and any programmatic changes will be reviewed.
  • Bacteriological Monitoring: Sampling and bacteriological methodology will be reviewed, each monitor will be observed by MSWS staff to ensure methods are used properly, monitors will practice counting plates to ensure individuals understand identification and calculation of bacteriological detection, and any programmatic changes will be reviewed.
  • Stream Biomonitoring: Recertification is not required for this monitoring type, but monitors are encouraged to review techniques in their manuals or consult with MSWS staff periodically. This certification will not be available until 2022.

The MSWS office staff will verify all completed recertification and send confirming documents and certificates to monitors within 30 days of recertification completion.


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