Stream Biomonitoring Water Quality Project

The purpose of these studies is to sample 20 stream sites each year within Rockland County for benthic (bottom dwelling) invertebrates (2006 - the present) to determine both water quality and the source of impact affecting a site, if any, based on the invertebrate community structure.
County planning and development agencies may use the data and analysis obtained from this project for planning purposes (e.g., increase the riparian buffer in areas where the streams were classified as slightly to moderately impacted). In addition, the results of the surveyed stations located within the communities may be used to meet several requirements set forth in the US EPA Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) regulations.

Please see below for Stream Water Quality Reports to see the results of these studies:


2015 Report
2014 Report
2013 Report
2012 Report
2011 Report
2010 Report
2009 Report
2008 Report
2007 Report
2006 Report

Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program

Volunteers conduct physical, chemical and biological surveys of Rockland County's streams to monitor the current state of streams' health and assess the level of impairment.
Streams are affected by the amount and type of pollutants that dissolve/flow into them, via storm drains and runoff.  Pollutants include sediment resulting from soil erosion from developments and construction sites; nitrogen, phosphorous and pesticides leaching from lawns, and roadway and parking lot runoff such as car oil, and litter.

The purpose for monitoring our waterways is to:

  • Collect baseline water quality data for our streams in Rockland County.
  • Connect citizens with their local streams through education and hands on involvement.
  • Allow public access to water quality monitoring information for educational purposes.

This program is a collaboration between The Rockland County Soil & Water Conservation District and The Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources. The program started in Spring 2006 and is in partnership with The N.Y.S. Soil and Water Conservation Committee.

The program is now using the NYS DEC Water Assessment by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) monitoring protocol. The season runs from July 1st- September 30th.
WAVE Training Sessions
are available from May - June 2015.

Take a look at one of our recent studies and view the Sparkill Creek Watershed Report Card:
Sparkill Creek Watershed Report Card

New volunteers are always welcome! If you are interested please call our office at (845) 364-2670.

Road-Stream Crossing Assessment


Rockland County Soil & Water Conservation District assesses culverts and bridges for flood risk and aquatic passability (the ability for migratory fish to swim into and out of structure).  Since 2014, over 200 culverts and bridges have been assessed in the Cedar Pond Brook and Minisceongo Creek subwatersheds (spanning the Towns of Haverstraw, Stony Point and Ramapo).  In 2016, the Soil & Water Conservation District completed a pilot study for the Town of Stony Point.  135 culverts and bridges were assessed and made into an inventory document.  The goal is to create a Town Level Management Plan  to help reduce flood risk and increase conservation efforts across our waterways and neighboring communities. 

All data is available to the public via the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative (NAACC) website.  13 States participate in the research effort spanning Maine through West Virginia.

Several Counties across New York State are also assessing their local culverts and bridges, please visit the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program for more information.