FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tina Posterli, 914-478-4501 x 239, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grant through Environmental Protection Fund monies will help forward critical information about water quality in the Hudson River Estuary
Ossining, NY – October 10, 2012 – Riverkeeper is pleased to announce that the Hudson River Estuary Program (HREP) of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will fund the 2013 follow up to its “How Is the Water?” report through monies from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). “How Is the Water?” is the groundbreaking study of sewage contamination in the Hudson River Estuary released in 2011 that incorporates water quality testing data from 2006 – 2010. The report was a critical tool in Riverkeeper’s outreach to build stakeholder support for the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act, which Governor Cuomo signed into law this past August.
The DEC funding will enable Riverkeeper to publish an expanded water quality report in 2013 that will include new data on sewage studies on several tributaries of the Hudson and year-by-year comparisons of Hudson River water quality. The grant will also support the development of some new analytical tools that will make production of future reports more streamlined.
“Riverkeeper has collected over 2,000 water quality samples on the Hudson since 2006,” said Tracy Brown, Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Advocate. “The analysis and publishing of that water quality data is critically important to increase our understanding of local sewage pollution and eliminate sources. We are grateful to the Hudson River Estuary Program and DEC for supporting the analysis and distribution of our water quality findings.”
Riverkeeper, in partnership with scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and Queens College, CUNY, conducts an ongoing study that monitors for sewage contamination and other water quality parameters along the 155-mile Hudson River Estuary. The water quality data is available to the public at www.riverkeeper.org/water-quality/locations/.
Greg O’Mullan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Queens College, said: “It is critical for policy-makers and members of the public to have reliable sources of information as they make decisions about protection and use of the river. For many areas along the Hudson, this sampling program provides the only data available on water quality and sewage pollution, and it is wonderful to know that the DEC values this resource and will assist us in disseminating the information to the public.”
“How Is the Water?” provides a multi-year data set showing where sewage contamination has been detected in the river, guidance on the potential sources of the contamination and solutions for addressing the problem. An updated report comprising new data from the Riverkeeper Water Quality Program and the most recent news and policy initiatives will be an important public service to all who use and enjoy the Hudson and its tributaries and will help to motivate citizens and public officials to work toward better understanding and management of local pollution sources for a healthier and safer Hudson River.