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Citizen Sampling Season Wraps for 2013

Rondotu Reservoir

The Rondout Reservoir, one of the sources of drinking water for New York City. Riverkeeper tests the water in the Rondout Creek downstream of the reservoir.
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Riverkeeper completed our last round of water quality sampling for 2013 on Saturday, Oct. 26. Here are a few scenes from the final day of sampling with citizen partners on the Wallkill River and Rondout Creek.

The Rondout Reservoir, one of the sources of drinking water for New York City. Riverkeeper citizen scientists test the water at 16 points in the Rondout Creek and its tributaries downstream of the reservoir, covering more than 40 stream miles to the Eddyville dam, where the Rondout becomes tidal before joining the Hudson. In all, Riverkeeper citizen partners test the water for fecal contamination monthly on seven tributaries of the Hudson River, covering nearly 160 miles on the Sparkill, Pocantico, Wallkill, Rondout, Esopus, Sawyer Kill and Catskill creeks. The tests show where and when these tributaries have been safe for swimming and other “primary contact,” as defined by Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

Citizen scientists Barbara Restaino and David Munford sample the water of the Rondout Creek near the Route 209 bridge in Napanoch, NY.

Stu Dorris, a member of the Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission, tests the water of the Rondout Creek near the Port Ben Road bridge in the Town of Wawarsing, NY. The Town of Rochester Environmental Conservation Commission is working with Riverkeeper to test the waters in and around the town.

The Rondout Valley is a fertile valley known for its farms. Communities along the lower Rondout where Riverkeeper tests water quality include Ellenville, Napanoch, Kerhonkson, High Falls and Rosendale. This view is of the Rondout Valley from Route 209 near Kerhonkson.

The railroad trestle in Rosendale, now a pedestrian bridge that is part of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, overlooks a popular Rondout Creek swimming hole where Riverkeeper’s citizen partners sample water quality. Results of these and all our tributary samples will be made available in the winter of 2013-2014 with the expansion of the water quality section of, where you can now find the results of our ongoing program testing 74 locations on the Hudson River estuary, including the tidal portions of the Rondout Creek.

About 40 miles downstream of the Rondout Reservoir, Capt. John Lipscomb talks with a citizen scientist Lynda Brandt of Kingston, after she delivered water samples from the Rondout. Capt. Lipscomb processes the samples in a laboratory aboard the Riverkeeper patrol boat, the R. Ian Fletcher.

After it receives the waters of the Wallkill River, the Rondout Creek becomes the biggest tributary of the tidal Hudson River. This is the view of the Rondout, facing its mouth to the East, from Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, where Riverkeeper has a satellite office, and where Capt. John Lipscomb often docks the Riverkeeper patrol boat. If we want a healthy river, we need healthy tributaries.

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