Jul 24, 2008

New Water Quality Testing Program Calls For More Information to Guide Safe Recreation (click here for full report)

On July 24, Riverkeeper launched its Swimmable River Campaign and unveiled its Water Quality Testing Program being done in partnership with Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory aboard the Riverkeeper patrol boat. The program aims to investigate the processes that control Hudson River water quality, begin to provide water quality data to the public, and inform the government�s water quality management decisions with sound science. It is the first program to regularly test Hudson River water quality from New York Harbor to Albany and make the data publicly available quickly.

For Immediate Release: July 24, 2008
Contact: Renee Cho, Riverkeeper
914-478-4501 x 239

This is a clickable map....
find your area for water quality results:

The initial findings also highlight a number of concerns:

• There are specific locations (i.e. Piermont Pier in Piermont and Newtown Creek in Brooklyn) that have chronically poor water quality conditions;
• Severe wet weather conditions, even if short-term, can render much of the estuary unsafe for activities such as swimming and kayaking.
• There are times and places, particularly near-shore after wet weather events, where counts of sewageindicating bacteria far exceed federal and state standards for primary contact recreation;
• In 2007, 21 percent of samples collected north of New York City had counts of sewage-indicating bacteria that exceeded the federal single sample guideline for primary contact;
• In the waterways surrounding New York City, 32 percent of the samples exceeded the federal single sample guidelines for primary contact;

Riverkeeper specifically recommends that government officials and environmental and public health agencies take the following actions:

Better Policy:

• Renew New York’s pledge for a swimmable Hudson River estuary;
• Create a cohesive water quality protection program for the region;
• Increase protection for key wetlands and buffer zones;
• Classify kayaking and personal watercraft use as primary contact recreation;
• Increase interagency and intra-agency communication;
• Focus testing and notification procedures on extreme conditions, in addition to averages;
• Work towards passage of the Federal Beach Protection Act and the Raw Sewage Overflow Community Right to Know Act; and
• Develop and implement sustainable stormwater management bills.

click on the title for the complete press release!

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