On October 6, 2004, middle and high school students, volunteer water monitoring community leaders and science teachers, joined with representatives of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Pinelands Commission at a lakeside outreach event to participate in hands-on water testing demonstrations. The event, held at Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest near Hammonton, celebrated the global month-long sampling period leading up to World Water Monitoring Day (October 18) by featuring the state’s various ongoing water monitoring programs.
Throughout the day, groups of students rotated between six interactive stations that focused on ground water monitoring, marine water sampling, stream flow monitoring, Pinelands waters chemical monitoring, lake and fish sampling, and freshwater biological monitoring. Students had opportunities to enter water data using laptop computers, use microscopes to examine aquatic insects, analyze waterbody maps, explore mobile labs, conduct experiments, examine equipment and boats, observe marine creatures and water samples, while interacting with experts and meeting other students.
This year the event was attended by students from nearby Sterling High School, Veterans Memorial Intermediate School and the Coastal Learning Center. Volunteer and professional water monitoring leaders that participated included representatives from the New Jersey Water Association and the Crafts Creek Springhill Brook Watershed Association. The event was coordinated by DEP’s Water Monitoring and Standards and Environmental Education programs. Click here to see a slide show of some of the activities at the celebration.
New Jersey water monitoring efforts include 115 stations in the cooperative DEP/USGS rivers and streams chemical/physical network, over 800 sites in the state’s biological network, and over 2500 sites to evaluate marine water quality. This year, the state also initiated a 40 site per year lakes water quality network. New Jersey’s water monitoring event highlights the state’s ongoing commitment to understanding and improving water quality, and emphasizes the collaborative partnership among the three agencies involved to provide information to the public on the conditions of the state’s waters. DEP, USGS and the Pineland’s Commission are partners in the state’s recently formed 30-member NJ Water Monitoring Coordinating Council designed to enhance collaboration, communication and cooperation among those actively testing the quality and abundance of our water resources. Additional information on New Jersey’s water monitoring networks and results is available at www.state.nj.us/dep/wms.
For additional information, please contact Leslie McGeorge, Administrator