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Volunteers needed for wetland study

Dakota County residents can pull on a pair of waders, jump in and volunteer to help monitor wetlands in their community. Dakota County is seeking people to help monitor the health of community wetlands through the Wetland Health Evaluation Program.

Volunteers work with a community-based team to monitor and collect information that is used to help protect area wetlands. A science background or previous monitoring experience is not required. All training and equipment is provided.

WHEP volunteers gather data on macroinvertebrates -- like beetles and dragonflies -- and plants in wetlands. Cities use the data to study wetland health trends to better manage wetlands and surrounding areas.

Volunteers receive training in field methods, macroinvertebrate collection and identification, and plant survey techniques and identification. Each city WHEP team takes samples from three to five wetlands between June and August. Volunteers commit between 10 and 30 hours, including training, field work and lab analysis.

For information about volunteering, visit or call the Dakota County Water Resources Department at 952-891-7000.