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Water Quality Improvement


HRECOS Continuous Monitoring

The Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS) is an alliance of partners that run continuous monitoring stations on the Hudson River and surrounding water bodies, recording their “pulse.” Every 15 minutes, sensors in the water take readings and wirelessly transmit data to the HRECOS website in near real-time.

Stopping Trash Where it Starts

The Hudson River Foundation/NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program and Montclair State University’s Passaic River Institute (PRI) received a grant from NEIWPCC to collect data at locations in the Lower Passaic Watershed on the types, sources and conditions leading to litter generation and dispersal in order to target reduction strategies. Two community groups (NY/NJ Baykeeper and Friends of Bonsal Preserve) are also engaged in the project. Data is currently being collected (as of Fall 2017) and will be analyzed with a final report to be released in 2018. Outreach following analysis of the results will be conducted with the local communities. Results will be posted here when available.

Monitoring for Pathogen Indicators in the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary, 2016

In 2016, Staten Island-based Gotham Whale and Raritan Bay-based NY/NJ Baykeeper collaborated with HEP, the Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC) and the US EPA to monitor for pathogen indicators in the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary. The grantees also collected turbidity, water temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH data and recorded visual observations related to site conditions. Citizen scientists were responsible for the full cycle of sample collection, analyses, and data management and publication, following strict quality assurance and quality control procedures approved by EPA. The grant empowered the groups to learn more about the health of their local waters, and provided communities with valuable datasets. Sampling was conducted from June-October 2016.

• NY/NJ Baykeeper’s project involved data collection along the Raritan Bayshore from Perth Amboy to Port Monmouth.
• Gotham Whale’s project, in keeping with their mission to monitor the return of whales to New York City waters, involved data collection around Staten Island from the Northern Shore down to Conference House Park to gain a baseline understanding of the whales’ environment.

2016 Citizen Science Project Documents

Monitoring for Pathogen Indicators in the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary, 2014

In 2014, four groups of citizen scientists measured water quality in their local waterbodies over the summer, with a focus on pathogen indicators. Citizen scientists were responsible for the full cycle of sample collection, analyses, and data management and publication, following strict quality assurance and quality control procedures approved by EPA.  The Friends of the Bonsal Preserve partnered with Montclair University to monitor the Third River, a tributary of the Passaic River; NY/NJ Baykeeper monitored the South River and Matawan Creek, which drain to the Raritan Bay; the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance monitored the Sparkill Creek in Rockland County; and the Bronx River Alliance partnered with Rocking the Boat to monitor the Bronx River.

This project was carried out in close collaboration with EPA, NJDEP, and NYSDEC with the goal of providing the tools that citizen scientists need to generate good quality, credible data for a variety of uses. EPA developed an umbrella quality assurance project plan for the project; trained citizen scientists in field, lab, and data management procedures; and lent the analytical equipment and supplies. Final reports, including a map of results, conference proceedings, quality assurance documents, and more information are available below:

Impact Evaluation of Projected Dissolved Oxygen Deficits in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary

The Great Lakes Environmental Center (GLEC) evaluated how dissolved oxygen levels affect organism abundance and diversity in the open waters of NY/NJ Harbor. The work was an attempt to begin to understand how site-specific (ambient versus laboratory-derived), temporal and spatial circumstances can affect the presence, abundance and ability to thrive of marine organisms in areas of the Harbor which are not attaining the marine dissolved oxygen (DO) criteria, based primarily upon projected DO deficits. Read the final report and associated materials.

Water Quality Work Group

The Water Quality Work Group in its current form has been meeting quarterly or as needed since early 2016.