Testing Ponds and Lakes in the Watershed

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.

For more information, send us a question using the membership form.

-Jamie Purinton, RJWC Board Member

2019 Fall Board Meeting

OCTOBER 20, 2019

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.

Actions taken:

  • 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.

2019 Fall Meeting Notice

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.

2019 Sampling Schedule

DateDownstream SamplersUpstream Samplers
May 11thJH+ BHDO + PO
June 15thKK + WFJM + JM
July 13thACHF + JF
August 10thMO + KOJD
Sept. 14thJO + JOMK + CL
Oct. 12thJB + FACE and JP
In the table we used initials for privacy.

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.

Spring 2019 Meeting Announcement

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

  • May 11
  • June 15
  • July 13
  • Aug 10
  • Sept 14
  • Oct 12

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. 

Roe Jan 2018

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.

2018 Data Charts - ROE JAN DRAFT v3

New Board, Officers and Bylaws

On Oct 27 bylaws for the Roe Jan Watershed Community were adopted, followed by the election of a board of directors and officers. The board members are

  • Colleen Lutz
  • Conrad Vispo
  • Dan Odell
  • Ellen Jouret-Epstein
  • Jamie Purinton
  • Kaare Christian
  • M. Elias Dueker
  • Michael Hamilton

And the new officers are

  • President: Kaare Christian
  • Vice President: Michael Hamilton
  • Secretary; Dan Odell
  • Treasurer: Jaia Orient

Later on the 27th the RJWC had a general meeting at Sloop Brewery, featuring Keith Pilgrim talking about “Why monitor: designing monitoring to protect riverine ecosystems.”

2018 Sampling Schedule

DateDownstream SamplersUpstream Samplers
May 12thJH and KKMK and DF
June 9thJO + JODO + PO
July 14thKO + MOFR + ER
August 11thJM and JDPL + GL
Sept. 15thAC and JBCL and JM
Oct. 13thTentative: WF and StudentsCE and JP
In the table we used initials for privacy.

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.

On the day of sampling, you will need to supply a cooler with ice. Either a hard frame cooler or a styrofoam (limited reuse) is ok, but if styrofoam, you’ll need to line it with a heavy black garbage bag, to prevent light leakage. The two people sampling will need to work out who supplies the cooler, and also who drives.

The sampling kit includes a sampling book, which contains details of the actual sampling, plus maps and information about each sampling location. It would be good to get familiar with that info prior to the sampling day.