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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Marine Science & Oceanography, Technology

Mission: Through research, education and public outreach, the Stroud Water Research Center seeks to advance our knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems to enable us all to make informed decisions that affect water quality and availability.

Results: Stroud Water Research Center scientists have been at the forefront of groundbreaking, freshwater research since the organization was founded in 1967, applying their unique, interdisciplinary approach to the critical questions that affect water quality and availability around the world. To the Center’s credit are a host of internationally recognized concepts and paradigms describing freshwater ecosystems that are being leveraged today and upon which new, collaborative research continues. Among the Center’s more recent accomplishments are the following: Scientists Bernard W. Sweeney, David H. Funk, and Laurel Standley received a patent on the technique developed to culture mayflies for use in biossay toxicity tests – allowing scientists to easily test species response to various pollutants. The Stroud Water Research Center completed a 6-year study of the 2,000 square mile watershed that supplies New York City with its drinking water and studied the watershed of Peru at the headwaters of the Amazon, to create baselines of the conditions against which to measure future changes, and establish a set of protocols that will enable ongoing monitoring of stream health and water quality. The Center’s employees and volunteers planted the 100,000th tree as part of an ongoing effort to restore Streamside Forests in Southeastern Pennsylvania - a key factor in water quality. Bernard W. Sweeney, the Center’s director, was appointed head of the Freshwater Surveillance Group for the International Barcode of Life (IBOL) project. Because certain groups of freshwater organisms (among them: caddisflies, mayflies and stoneflies) are used worldwide by scientists to assess water quality, enabling barcode identification promises to improve the accuracy of monitoring efforts, reduce associated costs and decrease the time involved to collect and process specimens. The Center, in collaboration with University of Delaware colleagues, will lead efforts to establish the Christina River Basin Critical Zone Observatory to research the effect of human induced erosion on the carbon cycle and climate change. The Center continues to reach thousands of individuals annually - including students, teachers, community groups and watershed associations - with its watershed education programs, which are designed to cultivate the public understanding necessary to protect, preserve and restore watersheds everywhere.

Target demographics: Businesses, government policy makers, landowners, and community volunteers and individuals all use the Center’s research findings to make informed decisions that affect water quality and availability. Our watershed education programs serve students of secondary and high school age, teachers, watershed associations and conservation groups.

Geographic areas served: Global

Programs: To advance knowledge of stream and river ecosystems through interdisciplinary research; to develop & communicate new ecological ideas; to provide solutions for water resource problems worldwide; and to promote public understanding of freshwater ecology through educational programs, watershed restoration, conservation leadership, and professional service.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

As an un-paid volunteer, I have spent time at the Stroud Center doing stream monitoring with the lab assistants. I continue to be impressed by their knowledge of a stream's eco-system and its importance to our way of life. The Stroud Center does freshwater research all around the world, in particular helping impoverished areas learn to detect clean water for drinking and cooking, which is life-saving in most countries. I would recommend a visit to anyone looking to learn more about conserving fresh water.

Review from Guidestar