01. SEALs

NY Harbor SEALs Mission Statement:

Welcome to the NY Harbor Sea, Estuary, Air, and Land (SEALs) Civic Science Environmental Monitoring Program.

Our purpose is to bring together student Civic Scientists to monitor the health of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, educate the public, and create the conditions to help bring the harbor seal back to NYC.

The Harbor SEALs initiated work around the Upper New York Bay in 2011 in recognition of its badly deteriorated condition, the need for high-quality marine resource data, its vulnerability to storm surges, its potential as a site for ecological restoration, and, most importantly, the need for its inner city youth to become a part of its conservation by empowering them to take the lead in high quality STEM projects around these issues.

Objectives:

  1. Measure, monitor, and record water, air, and sediment quality parameters in the Upper New York Bay to determine its impact and suitability for marine life and human recreation,
  2. Monitor the marine biodiversity in the Upper New York Bay to determine its health.
  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.

Teams

The Data Analyst (DA) team is responsible for administrating the collection of data for program-wide projects. The DA uploads data on to the Program’s website and files all hard copies in the Data binder. The data analysts make sure that the other teams follow quality assurance protocols and supply them with the appropriate sampling tables. Working knowledge of Google Docs, IT, Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, project management skills, strong math and writing skills, excellent communication and organization, team player, and must have prior experience as a Data Manager Assistant.

Biodiversity (Bio) team is responsible for designing, building, and sampling various biodiversity restoring devices in the harbor. The biodiversity team also samples organisms from the benthic layer. Identification of organisms is important as well as using various sampling techniques like calculating percent cover.

Phys-Chem. (PC) team is responsible for designing and implementing water quality sampling schemes. Members of this team keep a wide array of professional grade and cutting edge gear calibrated and maintained for sampling.

Plankton Team (PT) is in charge of comparing the levels of microplastics to plankton in the column of water. This team is reliant on microscope work, using the Sedgewick-Rafter cell, and smapling with various types of plankton nets.

Communications Analyst (CA) team is in charge of collecting  various types of information from the teams and report our experiences to the wider public. This team is also responsible for helping to generate end-of-year reports.

Harbor SEALs / CIVITAS Citizen Science – PHASE TWO: Harlem/East River Natural Resources Final Reports, 2018

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Harbor SEALs / CIVITAS Citizen Science – PHASE TWO: Harlem/East River Natural Resources Final Posters, 2018

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Harbor SEALs / CIVITAS Citizen Science – PHASE ONE: Harlem/East River Natural Resources Final Report, 2017

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Harbor SEALs / CIVITAS Citizen Science PHASE ONE: Harlem/East River Natural Resources Final Outreach Poster, 2017

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For access to the complete water quality data set collected to date click here.

Harbor SEALs / EPA Citizen Science – Water Physical-Chemistry Final Report, 2015

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NY Harbor SEALs Marine Baseline Quality Assurance Project Plan. 

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Harbor SEALs / EPA Citizen Science Water Physical-Chemistry Quality Assurance Project Plan

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Harbor SEALs / EPA Citizen Science Water Physical-Chemistry Outreach Poster for City of Water Day, 2014

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For more information or to volunteer, fill out the form below.

Civic Scientist Environmental Monitoring of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary