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The Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, Soil & Water Conservation District and Water Quality Committee provide several community science based environmental programs throughout the year. They are great resume builders for college students as well as for those interested in learning more about their local environment!
Contact Nicole Laible, Environmental Management Assistant for further details.
Office: 845-364-2669
Email: laiblen@co.rockland.ny.us

Volunteer Stream Biomonitoring Program

Stream_Monitor.jpgVolunteers 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.

 

American EEL Projects

Eel.jpgThe Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources in addition to local watershed groups and educators will be collaborating with the NYS DEC to expand the American eel Project t at Minisceongo Creek (MC) located in West Haverstraw and Ferdon Dam along the Sparkill Creek (SC)!

The American eel Projects are sponsored by the NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Program, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve and Water Resource Institute at Cornell University.

The MC project season is mid March through the end of May, depending upon the weather conditions. The American eel project takes place at tributaries across the Hudson River Estuary from NYC to Greene County.  Rockland County plays host to this project at the mouth of the mighty Minisceongo Creek, located on the NRG Bowline Facility, showcasing the unique relationship between industry and the natural environment. Last year, the Minisceongo Creek had almost 90 volunteers dedicate their time to monitoring this great catadromous species. Just in 2014, a total of 46,673 glass eels were monitored across 9 tributary sites, where 1,500 glass eels were caught, counted and weighed at the Minisceongo Creek alone.

After training, volunteers are responsible for counting, weighing and relocating glass eels caught inside the fyke net. Eels are relocated above the nearest barrier to aid in their long journey upstream.

The SC project begins in June and runs through October annually.  American_eel_SC_ladder.jpgVolunteers check an installed eel ladder three times per week throughout the season.  Volunteers are formally trained and assess the ladder in groups, pulling the ladder up to eye level, checking the bucket for eels, measuring eels for total length and relocating them above the Dam.

Volunteers can join an existing team or create their own. New volunteers are always welcome!
Internship credit, volunteer hours and more available**

 

Storm Drain Marking Program

Storm_drain_marker_photo_by_unknown_no_photo_release_needed.jpgStorm Drain Markers make people aware that every storm drain in Rockland County empties into a river, stream, reservoir, wetland, pond or the Hudson River. A common denominator of all residents is the storm drain system in the street near our homes. Unaware, people may think that the waste goes to our sewage disposal plants, but pollutants instead go into storm drains and thus directly into our streams and rivers. The problem includes yard waste, paint, waste oil, pesticides, pet droppings and other household hazardous waste.

The Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources was eager to protect Rockland County's water resources from such pollution by initiating the Storm Drain Marker Program. We created a low-tech, educational project that would emanate like a ripple in a pond - neighborhood to neighborhood. The program assists citizens and municipalities to apply storm drain markers at local storm drains. The 2-1/2 inch, round, plastic markers carry the message, "No Dumping Drains to Stream," and feature a picture of a fish. An educational brochure for distribution to residents accompanies the markers.

When people see the markers and read the brochure, they will get the message that each of us can help to safeguard our water supply by ensuring, "only rain goes down the drain".Storm_Drain_Marking_Program__by_Nicole_Laible.jpg

All supplies are free to participants. Markers and glue are funded by United Water New York.

For more information, click on the Storm Drain Marking Program Brochure.

 

Waterway Cleanups

WQC_2.jpgEach year the Rockland County Water Quality Committee (WQC) hosts its annual waterways cleanup. This is a partnership with Keep Rockland Beautiful (KRB) during their Fall Waterways Campaign.  All cleanups are open to the public.  Supplies are provided by KRB and all waste and recyclables removed from our waterways aids in protecting our banks, water quality and creating enjoyable spaces for recreation.

Visit Keep Rockland Beautiful to register for upcoming cleanups.