CHILDREN TAKE PART IN TESTING THE WATERS
Expanded Water Monitoring Highlights World Water Monitoring
in New Jersey
(03/157) TRENTON - Elementary
and high school students, educators and scientists, today
joined with representatives of the Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP), the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC),
and the US Geological Survey (USGS) at a riverside event
to participate in a hands-on water testing demonstration
along the Delaware River. The event, held at Washington
Crossing State Park, was designed to locally celebrate the
global World Water Monitoring initiative.
"We believe that it's important for
people of all ages to understand the science of water monitoring
and how we determine if our waters are clean," said
DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell. "People should understand
how individual actions and behaviors can effect the quality
and availability of nearby waterways."
The new expanded testing will help identify
sources of bacteria that, if reduced, will most effectively
improve water quality. Additional monitoring activities
announced during the day included public availability of
real-time coastal water quality data on the Internet from
four automated water quality monitoring buoys (www.nj.gov/dep/bmw/sensorhome.htm);
increased monitoring for metals such as lead and mercury
in randomly selected rivers and streams; and renewed monitoring
of select New Jersey lakes.
Throughout the day groups of students rotated
between six interactive stations that focused on ground
water monitoring; marine water monitoring, flow monitoring,
watersheds, chemical monitoring, and freshwater and biological
monitoring. Students had opportunities to input data in
laptops, look through microscopes, examine maps, explore
mobile labs, conduct experiments, examine equipment and
boats; observe water samples and findings; interact with
experts; and meet new students.
This year the event was attended by fifth
and sixth grade students from the nearby Lambertville and
West Amwell elementary schools, as well as a group of biology
student mentors from South Hunterdon Regional High School.
Follow-up activities will include submissions
of water testing results to an international database developed
specifically for World Water Monitoring Day.
Current state water monitoring efforts
include 115 stations in the rivers and streams network,
over 800 sites in the biological network, and over 250 sites
for overall marine water quality.
New Jersey's water monitoring celebration
highlights the Governor's commitment to improving water
quality statewide and emphasizes the collaborative partnership
among the three agencies to provide information on the conditions
of the state's waters.