FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE12-66
October 4, 2012
Chris Gilbride / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600
City Sponsors Public School Students Participating in Department of Environmental Conservation’s “A Day in the Life of the Hudson River” Event
More Than 3,000 Students at 70 Locations, From Troy to New York City Explore, Study and Learn About Local Waterways
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today sponsored more than 50 public school students participating in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) a “Day in the Life of the Hudson River” education event. The students, twelfth graders from Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan and fifth graders from PS 78 in Long Island City, Queens took water samples and made environmental observations along the East River, at Gantry Plaza State Park. Students used field techniques to track the river’s tides and currents, and examined the water’s chemistry. The event is part of DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program and is sponsored by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observation of Columbia University. The Program, now its 10th year, helps prepare students to become stewards of the Hudson River Estuary’s natural resources. More than 3,000 students at 70 different locations, from Troy to New York City participated in the hands-on scientific exploration of the Hudson River Estuary.
“New York/New Jersey Harbor is the critical part of the productive Hudson River estuary and serves the largest population center in the United States. DEP’s investments in water quality, combined with the restoration of wetlands and adjacent grasslands, have helped bring back native fish populations and allow for greater recreational use,” said Commissioner Strickland. “We perform thousands of water quality tests a year, and today’s event will educate thousands of kids about the progress and challenges in protecting our natural resources and create the stewards who will ensure that future generations can enjoy all the Hudson River Estuary has to offer.”
At today’s event in Gantry Plaza State Park four stations were set up and public school students examined the river’s currents and performed tests measuring such things as: turbidity, pH, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen. The High School students were paired with fifth graders and taught them lessons about how to properly measure water quality. The students were supervised by science teachers from their schools who were trained how to conduct water quality tests by DEP staff. DEP also supplied water quality testing kits for the event. The data collected by all 3,000 students will be analyzed and posted on DEC’s website.
The Hudson River is not just a river – it is a tidal estuary. The estuary makes up the lower half of the Hudson River, spanning 153 miles from the tip of the Battery to the Troy Dam. The river experiences dramatic changes in salinity, circulation patterns, tidal ranges, river width and water depth, fish species, macroinvertebrate communities, and plant life. While the northern half of the river is freshwater fed by snowmelt, groundwater and rain, the southern estuary section is a tidal mix of salty seawater and freshwater.
DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels, and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including nearly 1,000 in the upstate watershed. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.