Like many Texas Stream Team volunteer monitors, Martha Richeson's educational background in biology and chemistry, and her subsequent career in health care, laid the ground work for her to appreciate the health of our waterways.
Richeson said, "Being a part of the Galveston-Bay Area Master Naturalist program provides access to professionals who put a face and a grade on the health of Galveston Bay and the watersheds that feed it." That piqued her interest in the health of her local watershed, learning where the water near her home came from, and where it joins other waterways on its way to the bay.
When a training course was offered just a few miles from her home, she saw an opportunity not to be missed. She has been a Texas Stream Team volunteer monitor for just about a year, and she monitors at Mary's Creek at Centennial Park on McLean Rd in Friendswood.
The biggest challenge for her has been trying to find a smart way to transport all the gear from the parking lot to the testing site without losing part of it. Richeson said, "The Secchi tube and the meter stick seem to want to go different directions. And, after a rain the sidewalk becomes impassible, so boots are in order. When it is dry, I must be careful not to fall in trying to reach out far enough to get some depth for the bucket draw."
People are always curious about what is occurring when they see her monitoring. She sees this as a great opportunity to teach about the health of streams and bayous. When she tests, she always notes the wildlife in the area. "Despite what sometimes looks like dirty water with scum blobs and trash, ducks, ibis, herons and spoonbills don't seem to mind and hang out feeding downstream even while I'm working," she said.