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New Hudson River Monitoring Station in Poughkeepsie Unveiled

New Hudson River Monitoring Station in Poughkeepsie Unveiled
Marist College
Marist College
USGS Hydrologist Gary Wall inside the new pump station.

A new high-tech environmental monitoring station based at Marist College in Poughkeepsie was unveiled Tuesday on the banks of the Hudson River. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The new station is part of a network of 15 sensors collectively known as the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System, providing round-the-clock data on a range of variables— such as temperature, salinity, and pH --- Stuart Findlay, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute, says the new station is unique because it can collect actual water samples.

The Poughkeepsie station was funded through the US Environmental Protection Agency, built in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, the New York State Department of Conservation, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Marist College.

It continuously monitors physical and chemical conditions of the water, automatically collecting samples for the assessment of toxics and pharmaceuticals. 

Gary Wall is a hydrologist with the US Geological Survey. He says that the USGS is already using the station to monitor sediment, nutrient, and pesticide conditions in the Hudson River.

Stuart Findlay points out that the Poughkeepsie station goes the sensors one better: it can track contaminants attached to sediment, such as PCBS

The NYS DEC will also be relying on data from the station in their assessments of the state's water quality. Collected data will be used in assessing flood risk, determining water quality, pollution cleanup, DEC permitting, restoration efforts, and fisheries management.

NYS DEC Hudson River Estuary Coordinator Fran Dunwell notes one of the goals is to restore the signature fisheries of the Hudson.  All agencies agree the greatest value in the station is its expected contribution to long-term "river recovery."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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