ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Volunteers are being recruited to collect bugs and other tiny critters from streams around New York.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation says the citizen science project helps create an inventory of stream water quality to target restoration efforts where they're most needed.
The program is called WAVE, which stands for Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators. Participants visit a stream site once between July 1 and September 30 to collect creatures from the stream bottom.
"Most wanted" organisms indicate the stream is healthy and "least wanted" ones indicate the need for further investigation.
Sampling equipment includes a net, an ice cube tray to sort critters, seltzer water to anesthesize them and a digital camera to record them.