With the help of some local volunteers and community scientists, the New York City Water Trail Association is providing interactive maps and databases that show water quality parameters in the various waterways that surround New York City. By engaging the public, testing for harmful pathogens, and making the information publicly available, New York City Water Trail Association hopes that this data will help recreational water-goers of NYC to better understand and make decisions regarding their local water quality, its safety, and their usage. From New York City Water Trail Association:
For 20 weeks starting May 24, 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, community scientists at The River Project and our nine other partner labs (see list below) 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 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 decision-making to boaters, boating groups and other recreational water-users.