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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2003

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

 

SCHOOL 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.

 

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