For 20 weeks starting May 19, volunteers from local boathouses and community groups will be collecting weekly water samples at boat launches and docks from Yonkers to Jamaica Bay. Using EPA-approved kits from IDEXX laboratories, our main project partners at The River Project along with scientists at Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University Earth Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice Department of Sciences, Queens College School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Brooklyn College, Rocking the Boat, and LaGuardia Community College Biology Department will test the samples for microbes of the genus Enterococcus (“Entero”). Enterococci are commonly found in the feces of humans and other warm-blooded animals; their presence in the water is an indication of fecal pollution and the possible presence of pathogens that could be harmful to human health.
We will publish test results here every Friday evening throughout the boating season. The idea of our program is to create a baseline of data that, when correlated with rain and tide information, can help better inform boaters and other recreational users of the harbor of likely water quality at their preferred access points and launch sites. We include basic tide and rainfall information, but leave the specific interpretation and decisionmaking to boaters, boating groups and other recreational water-users.
If you would like to volunteer or be added to our water testing email list please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers/samplers are encouraged to jon our google group / discussion forum at https://groups.google.com/d/forum/cwqtp
Thanks to the more than 20 community boathouses, community groups, and waterfront parks that are supporting our program this year, and special thanks to the Lily Auchincloss Foundation and Alex Herzan for their ongoing support of this project.
For a terrific explanation of how weather affects a watershed, complete with interactive tools to further your understanding, visit the website of our partner group, the Newtown Creek Alliamce at www.newtowncreekalliance.org