Thursday, June 6, 2013

Water Quality Monitoring for Lake Nicaragua

Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Patrick Goggin worked with a team of Nicaraguan partners to implement a long-term water quality monitoring and conservation program for Lake Nicaragua. Goggin primarily worked with the partner organization, Fundación para el desarrollo, or FUPADE, which seeks to promote development for the people of Nicaragua through various means and with several focuses, from social inclusion to poverty reduction to sustainable economic development. Through the exchange of information and experience in the management of water resources and lakes, the sharing of ideas and effective models, field visits to potential pilot water quality monitoring stations, and by identifying the future Lake Nicaragua observatory, educational, and environmental monitoring center, Goggin's April 2013 trip created substantial progress.

Goggin (far left) and members of his team meet with local official
Mr. Mykel Morales Ruiz, in the town of Cardenas, one of the
three pilot water quality monitoring locations on Lake Nicaragua.
Lake Nicaragua is the largest freshwater aquatic ecosystem in the country and one of the largest in Central America, encompassing a rich aquatic biodiversity of plant and animal species. Because of its ecological, social, and economic importance, it is vital to protect Lake Nicaragua with a program that would include assorted water quality monitoring variables. Through an integrated management approach, the program seeks to inform the public and identify threats to the lake.

As a lake specialist with a focus on outreach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Goggin utilized his professional experience and vast knowledge to create a new water quality monitoring program for Lake Nicaragua. He connected the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership/University of Wisconsin - Extension Lakes to FUPADE, working with them to prepare proposals for a collaborative program between the organizations, in hopes of creating a lasting partnership.

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