Blogs > Water Quality > Sampling season starts! Volunteers test for recreational water quality along the Hudson

Sampling season starts! Volunteers test for recreational water quality along the Hudson

Community Science Program intern Zac Brown

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Have you wondered whether it’s safe to swim in Hudson Valley streams? Riverkeeper, our community scientists and our partners are helping to gather data in the Hudson River and its tributaries that can help you decide where and when to enjoy the water.

Moreau Lake State Park, on the Upper Hudson River

The 2022 sampling season has started up again!

Hudson River sampling with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory began May 23, with support from SeaTow Central Hudson. And about 60 Riverkeeper community scientists are going out monthly to collect water samples from eight different tributaries along the Hudson, from May through October.

Volunteers coordinated by Riverkeeper collect data from the Catskill, Esopus, Pocantico, Rondout, Sparkill and Wallkill tributaries, as well as from the two big arms of the estuary, the Mohawk River and the Upper Hudson River. Partners are coordinating volunteers to sample from several other tributaries and waterfronts. Community Scientist Judy Halstead took the gorgeous photo, above, of Moreau Lake State Park, on the Upper Hudson.

This year, as in others, we are testing for indicators of recreational water quality, and compiling the data in our interactive maps. No government agency or other entity gathers data of this kind, let alone scale, making this information uniquely important for people who want to make informed choices about when and where it is safe to swim. To learn more about the patterns defined by long term monitoring, which can inform choices about which locations tend to be safer or riskier, and where water quality is most influenced by rain, check out these water quality reports. The data also inform Riverkeeper’s advocacy to improve water quality.

Explore the data here:

Hudson River Estuary >
Hudson River tributaries >
New York City shoreline >

Community Science Program intern, Zack Brown
The Community Science team has assistance this year from Water Quality Intern Zac Brown.

Originally from Queensbury, N.Y., he is a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies at SUNY New Paltz. In this photo, Zac tests water samples in Riverkeeper’s Water Quality Lab in Kingston. “I hope to gain some hands-on experience with lab techniques in order to learn about the health of the environment in the Hudson Valley,” Zac said. “I think working at Riverkeeper would be a great opportunity to make connections and obtain skills that I can apply to any future careers.’’

New this year: The data is available for download by students and researchers. Read up on the Community Science Open Dataset.

If you would like to get monthly emails about our sampling program and our results, please sign up for water quality updates here.

Community Scientist at Wallkill River at Rt 32 Bridge
Community Scientist Sara DeAngelis snapped this photo of her sampling spot on the Wallkill River, at the Route 32 Bridge.

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