Thursday, Sept. 18, is the kick-off for the 5th Annual World Water Monitoring Day, a month-long international effort aimed to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world. World Water Monitoring Day engages people of all ages in monitoring the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other bodies of water. Conducting simple monitoring tests teaches participants about some of the most common indicators of water health, and encourages further participation in more formal citizen monitoring efforts.

Hains Point Park in Washington, D.C., will be the site of a national celebration of World Water Monitoring Day 2008 (WWMD 2008) on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 9:00 a.m. This year’s program features a special hand-washing campaign to recognize the United Nations’ “International Year of Sanitation.” The event is coordinated by the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association, with partners including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey and many more.

World Water Monitoring Day runs from Sept. 18 until Oct. 18. For more information about WWMD 2008, or to learn how you can participate, visit