Gem State Roundup

North Idaho volunteer group earns award for Lake Pend Oreille Water Quality Monitoring

By: - November 18, 2023 4:20 am
Boyer Slough, a tributary of the Pend Oreille River

Boyer Slough, a tributary of the Pend Oreille River, surpasses the State Department of Environmental Quality’s recommended levels of phosphorus, said Jennifer Ekstrom, the North Idaho lakes conservation associate at the Idaho Conservation League. (Courtesy of Jennifer Ekstrom)

Water quality stewards with the Idaho Conservation League are receiving multiple awards from the Idaho Nonprofit Center and Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on service and volunteerism. 

The stewards are a part of the Idaho Conservation League’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, a group of 30 volunteers that visit 15 locations across Lake Pend Oreille to sample and test its water quality from May to September.

The group received this year’s “Timeless Adult Volunteer Award.” The award is typically given to an individual for their community service, but this marks the first time a group has received the award.

North Idaho volunteer group works to keep Lake Pend Oreille healthy

“The data they collect helps us to tell a story of Lake Pend Oreille for years to come and is used by agencies like the Department of Environmental Quality to make management decisions,” said Karissa Huntsman, the league’s North Idaho community engagement assistant.

The stewards also received the “Gov. Cecil D. Andrus Volunteer of the Year Award,” jointly presented by the Andrus family, Idaho Nonprofit Center, and Serve Idaho. 

To learn more about other award recipients, visit, which has information on how Idaho Philanthropy Day is being celebrated throughout November.

“We are thrilled for our stewards to be honored with an award named after Gov. Andrus,” Huntsman said. “He diligently advocated for the protection of Idaho’s special places and natural heritage, and these stewards strive to do the same.” 

The stewards will receive a physical award in March at the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s regional conference in Coeur d’Alene. 

To learn more about the Idaho Conservation League’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, and to see results from this year’s monitoring, visit the league’s website here


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Mia Maldonado
Mia Maldonado

Mia Maldonado joined the Idaho Capital Sun after working as a breaking news reporter at the Idaho Statesman covering stories related to crime, education, growth and politics. She previously interned at the Idaho Capital Sun through the Voces Internship of Idaho, an equity-driven program for young Latinos to work in Idaho news. Born and raised in Coeur d'Alene, Mia moved to the Treasure Valley for college where she graduated from the College of Idaho with a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international political economy.