Posts Tagged ‘Water Monitoring’

Join River Network’s Mission!

Posted on
Are you among the lucky ones who recently got a Rain Barrel Registry postcard from the River Network?  The wonderful message prints, “Join the effort to create a worldwide inventory of rain barrels,” because the River Network eagerly invites you to help harvest your storm water! imrivers IMRivers would love your participation to help the River Network achieve its mission.  You can easily help by visiting  and registering any Rain Barrel locations you may find. You can also send us any data you may have collected regarding Rain Barrels, and we can add and update the information for you onto the Rain Barrel Registry. Once you visit the Rain Barrel Registry, you will find some great new features that highlight the data. You can click the “Layers” button on the interactive map and view interesting map layers that reveal information about impervious surfaces, land use and land cover, weather radar, and wind conditions. After adding the location of your Rain Barrel, you can see how the conditions shown by the layers might affect your area or you can use that information to even see when you may have rain!

New Drilling Methods of the Marcellus Shale Maybe Possible in Chemung County, NY

Posted on
Read the NY TIMES article HERE. New York State is pending new rules for the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Trenton Black River rock formation in Chemung County is an area where companies have been drilling for natural gas and may now experience an increase in gas production if the new rules are approved. The danger for humans is in the possible contamination of drinking water but there are environmental impacts as well such as ecosystem disruption and the use of millions of gallons of water per each drilling well. A lawsuit was filed for contaminated drinking water in Chemung County, but the New York Department of Environmental Conservation found that it was unlikely that the gas wells caused methane contamination of the water wells. Navarro, Mireya. “In Drilling Safety Debate, Hydrofracking’s Not the Only Target”. The New York Times. 28 December, 2011. Meghan Karlik Project Manager

Monitoring the Hudson River

Posted on

Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, IBM,  and Clarkson University in Potsdam are to create the intelligent systems and cyber-infrastructure technologies required for real-time water monitoring for the Hudson River. Called the River and Estuary Observatory Network (REON), it will be the first environmental monitoring system for rivers and estuaries. The sensor network will help researchers understand what’s happening in the ecosystem and help clarify the human and natural impacts on the environment. For more information, click here. Source: Geospatial WorldPoughkeepsieJournal.comNY State Assembly Picture from: Wikipedia Sachiye Day, VERTICES Intern.

Get to Know the Raritan River

Posted on
Our current project here at IM Rivers, mapping stormwater outfall pipes on the Raritan River, is very important to us.  We are learning about this river everyday with the help of a local organization, the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative. Their website has a wealth of information about the Raritan River including  information about the basin, clean up efforts, sustainable Raritan River action agenda, news and events, pictures, along with a wealth of resources and data.  It is committed groups like these that will save our rivers for future use and recreation.  Check out their website and keep checking back for updates! Photo taken by Dr. Wansoo Im Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

The Importance of Managing Stormwater

Posted on
The Massachusetts River Alliance is supporting an EPA stormwater permit draft which will help improve health of Massachusetts waterways, through better treatment and management of stormwater.  Why stormwater? Stormwater is a huge source of pollution to our waterways; water that falls on impervious surfaces flows through our built environment (where it picks up pollution such as oil, fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, solid waste,and other pollutants), to storm drains, and out to rivers and lakes.   This Stormwater General Permit Draft will “regulate storm water discharges in small Massachusetts communities with separate storm sewer systems (known as “MS4s”)”.  Stormwater should be a major concern in improving the health of our streams, lakes, and rivers because:
“Although nonpoint source pollution (pollution from diffuse sources like run-off) has been recognized for decades as a major water quality problem, until recently our efforts have focused on point sources like sewage plant discharge pipes. However, nonpoint sources, generally from stormwater, produce as much as half the pollutants in our surface and ground water.” (Association of NJ Environmental Commissions)
Sources: Massachusetts River Alliance and ANJEC
Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Monitoring and Mapping Storm Water Outfalls on the Raritan River

Posted on
Here at IM Rivers we have been working on a new project to protect our local river upon which Rutgers University was built; the Raritan River.  It is a heavily polluted river, but by taking initiative we hope to clean it up so everybody can enjoy its beauty.  After obtaining a GIS shapefile from the Middlesex County Planning Department of outfalls in the county, which I told was a complete database of all storm water outfalls, I noticed that the pipes that I see everyday as part of the Rutgers Crew team were not included in this database.  This motivated us to map them ourselves, which we have just begun.  In our Interactive Map, you can see both the outfalls in the Middlesex County database and the outfalls that we have begun to map on the Raritan River.  In a very short amount of time we were able to map over 25 outfalls which were not in the Planning Departments database!  A special thanks to Rutgers Crew Coach Jon Stephanik for his time and efforts helping us with this project.  Keep checking back to monitor our progress! Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Monitor Local Water

Posted on
Quality of water you use and consume can have huge effects upon your health.  Water can be polluted by many different sources, making local water unsafe for swimming, fishing, and consumption.  River Network noted that in some communities where they have been involved in water quality issues, “residents have been confronting high numbers of miscarriages, neurological problems, cancer and other disorders likely related to exposure to contamination.”  River Network has teamed up with TERC to create a guidebook to bring awareness to communities interested in the quality of their water.  This guide addresses watershed contamination issues and how monitoring can be done effectively. READ THE GUIDE HERE. Source: River Network Scott Jablonski, VERTICES Intern

Using GIS for Efficient, Cost-Effective River Monitoring

Posted on
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) has been using GIS technology to quickly and effectively map and analyze data collected about lakes and rivers in western Pennsylvania.  Using a commercial fish-finder and Esri software products, the WPC was able to successfully generate extensive bathymetry data for 38.1 miles the Allegheny River in just 36 days.  Data was collected by the fish-finder in three second intervals and loaded into the GIS where it was used to create a raster bathymetry layer, which could then be used to create contour lines at any desired intervals.  This approach saved the WPC a significant amount of money and the collection methods allow for efficient remapping to monitor areas of special interest over time. Eli Long and Eric Chapman of the WPC noted in their report that “The bathymetry information WPC has collected will be used to prioritize further mussel survey locations and will be a vital part of the River Information System. Combined with river flow, the data can be used to model pollution concentrations, substrate shifts, and sediment deposition. The completed dataset will be a useful tool for a variety of end users from USACE to recreational boaters and academic researchers. With access to a dataset that was, until now, unavailable at this scale and level of detail, GIS users are limited only by their own creativity.” Read the Full Article by Eli Long and Eric Chapman of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Source: Esri Online News Scott Jablonski, VERTICES intern

Gulf Coast: BP Oil Slick Mapping

Posted on

Thanks to an idea given to us by our good friend Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen,  IMRivers has created a site dedicated to marking key points effected by the BP oil spill. With his support and hard work, as well as the hard work of a few dedicated volunteers, we have been able to keep track of the extent of the spill daily as well as provide you with original images from the spill site. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this map site or if you have any relavant data that you would be willing to lend us, please contact Wansoo Im at IM Rivers is also offering to provide any organization or group  interested in doing their own Gulf Coast Oil Spill related map with a free map site.

For more information:

Visit the Gulf Coast BP Oil Spill Map Page

Visit the Gulf Coast BP Oil Spill Website