Heroic Endeavors: Testing the Waters - Riverkeeper Watches Over Hudson River Water Quality

In addition to being a leader in the fight against fracking and the campaign to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, the Riverkeeper organization operates a comprehensive water quality testing program that collects and tests samples at dozens of locations from New York Harbor to Waterford, north of Albany.

Their program, the first to regularly test Hudson River water quality, makes the data publicly available within days. In this slideshow, Riverkeeper Patrol Boat Captain John Lipscomb and Carol Knudson from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University discuss the threats to the Hudson, their findings and much more during a recent monitoring run.

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AUTHOR'S NOTE:

Riverkeeper’s Water Quality program hit a milestone this year with the publication of "How Is the Water? Sewage Contamination in the Hudson River Estuary 2006-2010." You now have access to five years of data on sewage contamination at dozens of sites throughout the tidal Hudson.

Riverkeeper’s testing reveals that while the Hudson River has enjoyed great improvements in water quality over the past several decades (since the passage of the Clean Water Act), sewage contamination remains a problem. Of Riverkeeper’s water quality samples collected from 2006 through 2010, 21% failed EPA guidelines for primary contact.

And be sure to read about this year’s patrol/testing season; it was a remarkable one!