Volunteer for Water Quality Monitoring!

Water Wonk Wednesdays

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HarborLAB will kick off our 2017 season of water sampling water at Gantry Plaza State Park on May 18, to help ensure the safety of our programs and contribute to a better understanding of human impacts on our estuary. We welcome new volunteers and prospective interns to help out! Email volunteer@harborlab.org with the subject “Water Sampling” if you’d like to join the crew.

On Thursday volunteer Patricia Vidals-Aquino will take a sample from the dock at Gantry and bring it to the laboratory of HarborLAB Board Member, Holly Porter-Morgan, PhD, director of the environmental science program at CUNY LaGuardia Community College. Our work is part of a citywide program organized through NYC Water Trail Association.

HarborLAB Environmental Monitoring Manager Josue Silvestre describes the process:

1. Selection of a sampling point is extremely important. This sampling point should be located where current is visible, no still water.

2. Sampling material includes a sterilized sampling bottle, ziplock bags, and ice cubes, additionally a cooler bag/lunch box to keep it cool and out of light/sun. If you cannot get a cooler bag/ lunch box, Erik kindly offer to provide one.
3. Make sure to use the sterilized sampling bottle, if it’s open it may be contaminated and the sample wouldn’t be representative.
4. Mark the sampling bottle with location, date and precise time that the sample is taken.
5. Rinse the bottle in water from the sampling site three times before taking the sample. Fill up the bottle entirely and cap the bottle immediately and put it inside the ziplock bag with ice cubes or ice pack.
6. Place the sample inside the cooler bag/lunch box to keep the sample cool and out of light/sun.
7. Take the sample to the drop off location. This CWQT season, the drop off location is the NBBC at 437 McGuinness Blvd Brooklyn, NY 11222. Willis Elkins from from Newtown Creek Alliance and NBBC will take the samples for enterococcus testing to Dr, Porter-Morgan’s lab at Laguardia Community College.
8. Take a new sterilized sampling bottle from the same drop off box/bucket for next time you sample.
Josue will train new participants in the program in the near future.  Drop us a note if you’d like to help!



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