Celebrate Lakes Apprecation Month by participating in a Secchi Disk dip-in!

As part of our Lakes Appreciation Month here at ESL, we partner with NALMS to take part in the Secchi Dip-In, a nationwide event where volunteers gather data on lake water quality. 

The Secchi Dip-In is “a demonstration of the potential of volunteer monitors to gather environmentally important information on our lakes, rivers and estuaries” (NALMS 2023). Throughout the month of July, thousands of volunteers across the United States and Canada take transparency measurements and collect data on water quality and environmental health. And you can join in too!  

Using a Secchi disk is simple. Members of our ESL marketing team recently used the Secchi disk to conduct their own test and shared their findings in the online database.  

How to take a Secchi Dip-In reading:  

  1. Get a Secchi disk. These can be purchased online at many places such as Amazon, or you can see a list of distributors on the NALMS website here 
  2. Find a lake. Travel to your favorite lake or reservoir with your Secchi disk, a notepad or field guide, and a pen. Don’t forget your sunscreen! 
  3. Choose a dipping point. Ideally this is off a dock or platform where you can reach deeper depths. 
  4. Lower the Secchi disk into the water by unraveling the string.  
  5. Watch the disk closely until it’s no longer visible in the water. 
  6. Measure the depth of your disk according to the measurement on the string. 
  7. Record all your findings and observations in your notepad. Take note of the weather conditions around you or any atypical factors. 
  8. Go online to https://www.nalms.org/secchidipin/ and submit your data. 
  9. Celebrate your contribution to lake management, health, and conservation

Why is the Secchi Dip-In important?  

By capturing these snapshots of water transparency over time, scientists can track changes and observe trends that inform decisions for lake and water management. Volunteer monitoring programs provide vital data for environmental science, and by raising awareness of these efforts we support a community of people working together to monitor and protect our natural ecosystems.  

As we observe the 25th year of Lakes Appreciation Month, join us in this year’s celebration with the Secchi Dip-In! By participating, you contribute to the preservation of our natural waters and play a crucial role in monitoring the health of our lakes. Find more information about the Secchi Dip-In and Lakes Appreciation Month from NALMS and help provide Clean Water for the Planet®!