Save the Sound seeks summer volunteers to monitor water quality

Grant from EPA will help communities from New Rochelle to Greenwich study their waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2015

Sarah Ganong (203) 787 0646 ext. 128

Mamaroneck, NY—Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, is happy to announce the receipt of a grant to increase water quality monitoring this summer in Fairfield and Westchester counties. Last year, Save the Sound’s water quality monitoring program in Westchester County, NY, found that fecal contamination is highest in the streams, creeks, and rivers that run through communities and flow to the shoreline.

The EPA Region 2 Citizen Science Water Monitoring Equipment Loan for Save the Sound this summer will allow for the creation of a water quality testing lab located in Mamaroneck that staff and trained volunteers can use to test for the bacteria Enterococcus and Total Coliforms/E-coli, as well as general water quality parameters like dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and temperature. Along with the equipment loan, EPA will provide training and will review and approve the quality control standards used by Save the Sound to conduct our water quality monitoring—helping to ensure that Save the Sound data is taken seriously by stakeholders and scientists alike.

“Receiving this grant is a big deal for our water quality monitoring program—and for communities all along the coast of the western Sound,” said Tracy Brown, director of western Long Island Sound programs for Save the Sound. “Far more citizen scientists will be empowered and able to get out into their own waters and see for themselves if their waters are safe to swim in and for fish to inhabit. We’re excited for this summer’s monitoring season and are looking for a lot of volunteers to get involved—an appropriate message on this day where we’re celebrating our planet.”

Communities along the Sound where water quality monitoring will be occurring this summer include Port Chester, Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Pelham, Mount Vernon, Harrison, Scarsdale, and Greenwich. Interested volunteers should contact pollution@savethesound.org for more information. After completing training, volunteers will travel throughout their communities, once a week on average, with Save the Sound’s water monitoring coordinator and collect data throughout the season, in order to build up a complete picture of water quality in the communities surrounding the western Sound.

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