In 2021 we sampled all fourteen sites each month, May through October. We had a heavy rain event preceding July sampling, which led to Enterococcus readings to exceed the EPA guidelines at ten of our fourteen sites. Given July’s high readings, when taken as a whole (all fourteen sites, all six sampling dates) the Roe Jan slightly exceeded the EPA criteria. If July had been dry, we would have passed the EPA test, but barely.
Lower Rhoda Pond and Long Lake, two of the area lakes that drain into the Roe Jan Kill, participate in the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP). CSLAP is a volunteer lake monitoring and education program managed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA). Through this program we monitor and collect important lake data, which is used to understand lake conditions and to develop lake management plans.
Over the last two years we have participated in an additional and new study with Syracuse University, SUNY-CESF, and the Upstate Freshwater Institute, to carry out the project “Citizen Science-Based Monitoring Framework for Contaminants of Emerging Concern in New York State Lakes” funded by the National Science Foundation. Chemicals of emerging concerns (CECs) originate from commonly used pharmaceuticals, pesticides, household chemicals, and personal care products. Since this is a new study with only two years of data collection, it will take time and qualified scientists to evaluate the data trends and understand the ramifications.
Even at this early stage we are learning how human and agricultural contaminants find their way into our groundwater and water bodies. We hope this study will inspire lake and riverside communities to update septic systems, improve stream and lakeside vegetated buffers and setbacks, use environmentally safe personal care products and household products, dispose of pharmaceuticals safely, and support organic agriculture.
The annual meeting of the Board was held on October 20, 2019 at the Suarez Family Brewery, just prior to the member’s fall meeting. Chairman Kaare Christian presided. Directors Michael Hamilton, Colleen Lutz, Daniel P. Odell, Jamie Purinton and Conrad Vispo were present, as was Jaia Orient, Treasurer.
The minutes of the meeting of May 16, 2019 were approved
Chairman Christian and Directors Dueker and Hamilton were re-elected for a three-year term.
Jan Borchert was elected to serve as Director for a one-year term, to fill the unexpired term of Ellen Jouret-Epstein who had resigned from the Board. The Chairman acknowledged his appreciation for her service.
Director Christian was re-elected as Chairman.
The current officers were also re-elected, as follows:
President Kaare Christian Vice President Michael Hamilton Treasurer Jaia Orient Secretary Daniel P. Odell
Chairman Christian reported on recent corporate activities, including the filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) (subsequently approved), and RJWC’s participation in the NYS DEC’s Trees for Tribs program, planting native trees and shrubs along a section of the Roeliff Jansen. The Board was advised that additional plantings were to be scheduled. The Chairman also discussed progress in fundraising and in town outreach.
Jaia Orient, Treasurer, reported that since her report at the meeting in May the Corporation had earned $2.11 in interest, and that current net assets were $840.81.
Chairman Christian reviewed the Annual Conflicts of Interest statement that the NYS Not for Profit Corporation Law and the Corporation’s Bylaws require of all directors and officers.
The Roe Jan Watershed Community Fall Meeting will be Sunday, Oct 20th at 10:30am at the Suarez Family Brewery (2278 U.S. 9, 12534). Suarez will open to the public immediately after our meeting at noon, so you can stay for a craft brew and conversation. We have a special speaker, guests, and a movie by local filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, ‘A Living River’. And of course info on the recent year’s results, and more. Please come, and stay for a round at Suarez after our meeting.
As in the previous 3 years, the 2019 Roe Jan results feature low Entero concentration, compared to most other Hudson tribs. For all the Hudson valley data collected by Riverkeeper and its partners (such as the RJWC), goto the Water Quality Program area of their site. Or you can go directly to the Roe Jan data on Riverkeeper’s site. Our data is also being displayed on the Bard College Water Lab’s Roe Jan site. The advantage of the Riverkeeper site is you can see data for the entire Hudson valley, which includes the Hudson, the Mohawk, and all the tributaries, but the only parameter is Entero concentration. On the Bard Waterlab site you can see all the data we collect on the Roe Jan: Entero concentration, temperature, turbidity, and conductance.
Seven to ten days prior to the sampling date, we’ll start organizing the equipment drop off. Details vary slightly between downstream and upstream, but in both cases everyone involved will get connected on an email thread, and we’ll work out the details of a convenient time/place for the gear to be dropped off.
Last year we changed the routine so that the upstream and downstream teams meet at 11 am at the Elizaville Diner, and then upstream hands off their gear and samples to downstream, for delivery to Bard Water Lab. This has worked well, so we are continuing this year. Also new last year was dippers, to make it easier to sample from shore without waders, and buckets (upstream only) to sample from bridges. On the day of sampling, you will need to get ice for the supplied cooler.
The sampling kit includes a sampling book (downstream book; upstream book), which contains detailed instructions, a form to place your observations, plus maps and information about each sampling location. It would be good to get familiar with that book prior to the sampling day. Also before you go, look at the online sampling map, which lets you zoom into each sampling location, to help you see how you would drive there.
The Roe Jan Watershed Community Spring Meeting will be Sunday, April 28 at 1pm at the Old Klaverack Brewery (150 Thielman Rd Hudson). The brewery opens to the public immediately after our meeting. The 2019 sampling dates are
We’ll briefly go over 2018 sampling results for both the Entero sampling and WAVE sampling, and have signups and training for 2019 Roe Jan sampling.
The main speaker at the meeting will be Conrad Vispo of the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology program. His presentation is titled “Waterways through some Insect Eyes” and it promises to be a beautiful and interesting talk about dragonflies and how they relate to waterways.
We’ll also have the latest on counting eels, and signups for several opportunities to help plant trees as part of Trees for Tribs
The Empire Rd Trees for Tribs, June 1, 10am, organized by Columbia Greene Trout Unlimited (Use the Comment Form to register)
Roeliff Jansen Park in Hillsdale , NY 12529 May 11th and 12th 10-1. We are planting 80 shrubs along Roeliff Jansen Creek with Hillsdale Conservation Advisory Committee and citizens concerned about water health and keeping it public. Please call Mary King at 518-380-4681 for details and bring boots, shovel, water to drink.
Riverkeeper just put together their summary of the Roe Jan in 2018, based on the sampling done by RJWC citizen science volunteers monthly May through October at 14 sites. And again, the Roe Jan has some of the lowest Entero counts in the Hudson Valley. In wet weather, sites sometimes exceed the EPA criteria, but in dry weather, the Roe Jan shows that a major Hudson trib can meet the EPA criteria for safe water contact. Pay close attention to the fourth page, which summarizes our three years of sampling on the Roe Jan.