Harbor SEALs Water Quality

Harbor SEALs get water samples around rip rap.
NY Harbor SEALs get water samples on Governors Island.

New York Harbor SEALS Upper Hudson River Estuary Water/Air Quality Monitoring Program

Contact: mgonzalez@harborseals.org

Click here to access data.

Click here to access QAPP.

Background:

Although New York Harbor water quality has improved notably since the implementation of the Clean Water Act nearly 40 years ago. Harbor waters continue to be of insufficient quality to support many resources and activities. As a result of pollutants from combined sewer overflows, storm water runoff, industrial activities, and other current and historic uses, Harbor waters are closed to shell fishing and most are classified as appropriate only for secondary–‐contact recreation and fishing. These conditions have numerous negative impacts on New Yorkers, who have very few opportunities to fish, swim, surf and observe and interact with marine plants and animals. Arguably, this absence of opportunities to interact with a healthy marine environment disproportionately impacts New Yorkers from lower–‐income communities who cannot afford to escape to beaches and waterfront parks outside the city. This lack of access to clean marine waters likely exacerbates a cultural disconnect: many New York youth and adults do not embrace the Harbor and its natural resources, and are not aware of the variety of tools and strategies that may be used to protect and restore Harbor waters.

Objectives:

  1. Measure, monitor, and record water and air quality parameters in the Upper Hudson River Estuary to determine its suitability for marine life and human recreation,
  2. Determine how current dynamics affect water quality parameters at the Battery, East River, and West and East sides of Governors Island,
  3. Empower student citizen scientists with the necessary skills to take ownership of their environmental heritage to protect it,
  4. Disseminate the data collected on the World Wide Web for analysis and use by pertinent stake holders i.e. the New York Harbor School’s Oyster Restoration Project.

General Overview:

This project will institutionalize the general water quality and the air quality affected by the Estuary’s water either directly or through its usage by water traffic. The monitoring of the HRE around Governors Island will be performed by student of the NY Harbor School and adult volunteers associated to the School. The data will serve to educate the student citizen scientists and guide the School’s Oyster Restoration Project as well as the Objectives mentioned above.

Rationale For Selection Of Sampling Sites:

2 sites were chosen at Governors Island and 2 on the southern tip of Manhattan. These were chosen in order to determine the dynamics and influence of the Hudson and East Rivers on the surrounding waters of Governors Island. The importance of determining the dynamics and influence on GI is due to the Oyster Reef located on GI and the ecosystem restoration efforts being planned around the Island.

Sampling Stations
Sampling Stations

Standard Operating Procedures:

130210_harbor_seals_standard_operating_procedures_published_version

Training:

Harbor SEALs sampling Governors Island at night.
Harbor SEALs sampling Governors Island at night.
SEALs bring back samples to the lab to measure Dissolved Oxygen using the Azide Modified Winkler Method and Entrococcus using Enterolert.
SEALs bring back samples to the lab to measure Dissolved Oxygen using the Azide Modified Winkler Method and Entrococcus using Enterolert among other measurments.
Training requires patience and focus.
Training requires patience and focus.

Day 01 Sampling (Wednesday, February 06, 2013):

Team M1 of the Harbor SEALs sampling water quality in Manhattan
Team M1 of the Harbor SEALs sampling water quality at Battery Park.

 

Team G1 + G2 of the Harbor SEALs processing enterococcus samples back in the MBRP lab.
Team G1 + G2 of the Harbor SEALs processing enterococcus samples back in the MBRP lab.

 

Citizen Scientist Environmental Monitoring of the Hudson River Estuary