Group leads effort to gauge Connecticut River’s healthBy Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | August 06,2014SPRINGFIELD — Volunteers up and down the Connecticut River in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts will be out early this morning going for a dip.
They won’t necessarily be getting wet, but they’ll be taking water samples from 55 different locations spread out over 1,000 miles along the river to try and get a “snapshot” of the river’s health.
The “Samplepalooza” is being organized by the Connecticut River Watershed Council, in coordination with three New England states, in an effort to collect data about possible pollutant sources and nutrient loads coming into the main stem of the Connecticut River, as well as its main tributaries.
Andrea Donlon, a river steward with the Connecticut River Watershed Council, which is based in Greenfield, Mass., said the Samplepalooza was slated for last week, but was cancelled because of a major rainstorm in northern New England.
Heavy stream runoff would alter the test results, Donlon said.
“It’s a snapshot in time during a day that doesn’t have a lot of storms, hopefully,” she said. The mostly volunteer effort is looking for pollution “hotspots” along the river that might include municipal water treatment plants, urban areas and farms, to name a few.
In Vermont, she said, the effort includes some state watershed staffers, as well as volunteers.
Kelly Stettner, executive director of the Springfield-based Black River Action Team, will be one of the early risers. She plans on taking her sample of the Black River standing on the Paddock Road Bridge, not too far from her home.
The protocol the volunteers and some state staff workers are using calls for the sampling bucket to be rinsed three times, and to be taken upstream from any bridge.
Stettner, who also samples the river for other environmental monitoring projects, said that she had “a whole bunch of bottles” to fill this morning.
The focus of the Samplepalooza is the pollution and sediment that dump into Long Island Sound, at the mouth of the Connecticut River.
Donlon said there is a large dead zone at the mouth of the river, and there is already a multi-state effort underway to reduce nitrogen pollution along Long Island Sound in an effort to cut down on the algae growing there.
She said that if today’s Samplepalooza is successful, the states may expand the sampling effort to include more volunteer monitoring sites and additional water quality problem areas in the future, or even make it an annual event.
Working with the Connecticut River Watershed Council is the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Today’s tests do not include the Connecticut River in Connecticut since they have already done such samples, Donlon said. But she said the sample sites go from the Massachusetts-Connecticut border in the south to Pittsburg, N.H., in the north.
email@example.comMORE IN Vermont NewsThe leader of the Vermont Workers’ Center is taking his fight for higher wages and affordable... Full StoryMONTPELIER — A man seen manning big fishing rods and harpooning huge fish on the reality show... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.