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Region 2

Serving New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Eight Tribal Nations.

Water

Contact Information

For more information about Citizen Science, please contact:

Patricia Sheridan
sheridan.patricia@epa.gov
732-321-6780

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Information collected by citizen scientists on waterbodies (such as streams, rivers, estuaries and bays) increases the amount of data available for decision making and builds awareness of  the extent, causes and ways of reducing water pollution problems. Volunteer water monitoring is the oldest volunteer program supported by EPA and the number, complexity and variety of water projects in which volunteers participate in is continually growing.  Some examples of local water projects involving citizen scientists/volunteers are NEIWPCC’s bacteria pathogens monitoring and the Long Island Sound Study about the habitat restoration, stewardship, and invasive plant removal.
Citizen scientists monitor the physical (e.g., flow, temperature, electrical conductivity) biological (e.g., macroinvertebrate community, bacteria, chlorophyll-a) and chemical characteristics ( e.g. nutrients, metals) of water bodies and underlying sediments, make visual observations of habitat or assess the abundance and diversity of living creatures in the aquatic environment.  Volunteers also participate in cleaning up debris, removing invasive species, surveillance and/or long-term restoration and stewardship of waterbodies and associated habitats.

Resources

Case Study

From an interview with Patricia Aitken, Friends of the Bay (Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY)

Friends of the Bay

“I joined Friends of the Bay in 2005, and I was in charge of running the Water Quality Monitoring Program.  It’s a great program.  We have Citizen Scientists that come out with us and collect samples at 19 sites throughout the harbor and this is becoming a more and more viable program because there’s a lot of budget cut backs…we’re able to fill in a lot of gaps.”

“We have citizen scientists.  We’ve had some that have been doing the program for 10 to 12 years.  So they know very well what they’re doing and there’s enormous dedication…its data collection. Once you’re trained to do it (data collection), it’s not that difficult, but you do have to follow proper protocols.”

 

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