New York's Great Lakes
Water Quality / Quantity

NY's Great Lakes: Water Quality / Quantity

Sections on this page: General Information | Area of Concern | Toxics | Harmful Algal BloomsGreen Infrastructure | Watershed Groups | For More Information

General Information back to top

Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board - New York State Association of Regional Councils Water Resource Program
Regional Councils study the needs and conditions of a region and provide comprehensive planning for coordinated growth and development. Regional Councils promote intergovernmental cooperation, work to maximize economic opportunities, and facilitate dialogue between state and federal governments and local municipalities. The NYSARC Water Resources Management Program focuses on comprehensive water resource planning, protection, and management.

Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program is a volunteer lake monitoring and education program that is managed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Federation of Lake Associations.

Division of Water- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The Division conducts a variety of programs to protect and conserve New York's waters. On this page you will find information about the Division's programs and recent activities.

Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program- New York State Federation of Lake Associations
Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program is a scientific and educational program in which citizen volunteers from New York State Federation of Lake Associations member lake associations collect information about their lakes.

Great Lakes Regional Water Use Database- Great Lakes Commission
The Geat Lakes Regional Water Use Database, provides comparable water use information on withdrawals, diversions and consumptive uses.

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement- United States Environmental Protection Agency
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement is a commitment between the United States and Canada to restore and protect the waters of the Great Lakes. The Agreement provides a framework for identifying binational priorities and implementing actions that improve water quality. Environmental Protection Agency coordinates U.S. activities under the Agreement.

Microbeads- New York State Attorney General
By prohibiting the sale of cosmetic or personal care products containing microbeads in New York, Attorney General Schneiderman’s Microbead-Free Waters Act will protect New York’s fish and wildlife, and help safeguard New York’s long-standing efforts to protect and enhance its water resources.

Microplastics- New York Sea Grant
Attention has turned to the Great Lakes and small plastic particles and microbeads that have been found there. Some plastic particles result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, but others are small plastic spheres known as microbeads. Although harmless in appearance, microbeads have the potential to cause environmental damage.

Nearshore and Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is a federally-funded, multi-year, multi-agency program to restore the Great Lakes. The GLRI began in 2010 with funding to implement work that protects, cleans up, and restores the Great Lakes ecosystem in accordance with the 2010-2014 Great Lakes Action Plan. GLRI activities focus on five core areas, Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern, Invasive Species, Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution, Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration and Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships.

New York Assessment Data for 2012- United States Environmental Protection Agency
Assessment data for 2012, can search assessed Waters of New York by watershed.
 
New York Impaired Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads Information- United States Environmental Protection Agency
New York Impaired Waters and Total Maximum Daily Loads Information can search assessed Waters of New York by watershed.

New York Water Environment Association
New York Water Environment Association is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable clean water quality management through science, education and training.

Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) is a citizen-based water quality assessment developed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The purpose of WAVE is to enable citizen scientists to collect biological data for assessment of water quality on wadeable streams in NY State.

Water Quality Data
Current water conditions for New York State.  

Water Quality Data: My WATERS Mapper
MyWATERS Mapper dynamically displays snapshots of Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water program data. This version of My WATERS Mapper depicts the status of NPDES permits for each State; summary information from the Clean Watershed Needs Survey; and water quality assessments.

Water Quality Data: Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool
The Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool enables users to view and download nitrogen and phosphorus pollution data from a variety of databases.

Water Quality Information- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducts various programs aimed at measuring and reporting on the quality of waters in New York State. These programs involve collecting monitoring data on rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters, evaluating these results, and reporting the water quality information to the public. In addition to the routine monitoring and assessment of New York's waters, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also conducts targeted research projects focusing on specific water bodies, contaminants, pollution sources or water quality trends.

Water Quality Report (2012)- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Presented here is an Executive Summary of key findings in the most recently (2012) issued New York State Section 305(b) Water Quality Report.


Area of Concern back to top
 
Area of Concern: Buffalo River- United States Environmental Protection Agency
The Buffalo River Area of Concern is located in the City of Buffalo in western New York State. The river flows from the east and discharges into Lake Erie near the head of the Niagara River. The Buffalo River Area Of Concern “impact area” extends from the mouth of the Buffalo River to the farthest point upstream at which the backwater condition exists during Lake Erie’s highest monthly average lake level.

Area of Concern: Niagara River- United States Environmental Protection Agency
The Niagara River Area of Concern is located in Erie and Niagara counties in western New York. This Area Of Concern extends from Smokes Creek near the southern end of the Buffalo Harbor, north to the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario. Past municipal and industrial discharges and waste disposal sites have been a source of contaminants to the Niagara River.

Economic Benefits of Remediating the Buffalo River, New York Area of Concern
This study estimates the economic benefits of remediation in the Buffalo River, NY Area of Concern using two distinct empirical methods.

Great Lakes Areas of Concern- United States Environmental Protection Agency
A list of the Great Lakes Areas of Concern, which is a location that has experienced environmental degradation.

Guidance for Delisting of Great Lakes Areas of Concern- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Guidance for (Re-designation) De-listing of Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) and their Beneficial Use Impairment Indicators in New York State is a guidance document describes the policies and procedures to be followed by all Communities and Remedial Action Plan Coordinators for the process of (re-designating) de-listing New York State Great Lakes Areas of Concerns as well as the individual Beneficial Use Impairment indicators associated with the Area's Of Concern.

Incidence of endocrine disease among residents of New York areas of concern
There are six Areas of Concern, as identified by the International Joint Commission, located in New York State. Three are contiguous in western New York and have similar contaminants (Buffalo River, Niagara River, and 18 Mile Creek). We used the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database, which records diagnoses according to the International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision codes for all patients admitted to state-regulated hospital facilities, to compare incidence of selected diseases reported in hospitalized patients who reside in ZIP codes that are within 15 miles of any of these sites to those of residents of three different control populations: all residents of the rest of New York State (including New York City), all residents of ZIP codes outside New York City that do not contain any site identified as a federal or state Superfund site, and all residents of ZIP codes outside New York City that contain a federal or state Superfund site that does not have one or more persistent organic pollutants listed as a major contaminant.

List of New York Areas Of Concern- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
In 1987, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement designated 43 Area's Of Concern as a way to focus restoration work on these areas. Of the 43 Area's Of Concern, 26 are in the U.S., 12 are in Canada, and 5 are shared by both countries. Six Areas of Concern were designated in New York.

Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is a federally-funded, multi-year, multi-agency program to restore the Great Lakes. The GLRI began in 2010 with funding to implement work that protects, cleans up, and restores the Great Lakes ecosystem in accordance with the 2010-2014 Great Lakes Action Plan. GLRI activities focus on five core areas, Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern, Invasive Species, Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution, Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration and Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships.
 

Toxics back to top

New York State Pollution Prevention Institute
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) is a statewide research and technology transfer center funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The mission of the P2I is to provide a state-wide, comprehensive and integrated program of research, technology development and diffusion, outreach, training and education aimed at making New York State more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy.

Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is a federally-funded, multi-year, multi-agency program to restore the Great Lakes. The GLRI began in 2010 with funding to implement work that protects, cleans up, and restores the Great Lakes ecosystem in accordance with the 2010-2014 Great Lakes Action Plan. GLRI activities focus on five core areas, Toxic Substances and Areas of Concern, Invasive Species, Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution, Habitat and Wildlife Protection and Restoration and Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships.

Toxicity Testing Unit- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
As part of the Rotating Integrated Basin Studies program, the Toxicity Testing Unit uses bioassays to look for toxicity in surface waters and sediments.


Harmful Algal Blooms back to top

Harmful Algal Blooms- New York Sea Grant
Harmful algal blooms are a worldwide phenomenon posing a significant threat to public health, economies, water quality, and fisheries. Increasingly, the phrase is repeated in the media as Harmful algal blooms have increased in frequency, duration, and distribution in recent decades.

Harmful Algal Blooms and Marine Biotoxins- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Most algae are harmless and are an important part of the food web. Algae are naturally present in slow moving streams, lakes, marine waters and ponds in low numbers. Certain types can become abundant and form blooms under the right conditions. Some algae can produce toxins that can be harmful to people and animals. These are collectively called harmful algal blooms.


Green Infrastructure back to top

Construction Stormwater Toolbox
This page provides links to sources of technical information needed to comply with the requirements of the Construction Permit and references that are useful for the design of stormwater management practices. Although it is primarily intended as a resource for consultants and other design professionals, it may also be helpful to local officials and others involved with stormwater management.

Green Infrastructure- Buffalo River Niagara Riverkeeper
Green Infrastructure comes in many forms, all of which rain garden in Niagara Falls infiltrate, evaporate or recycle storm water runoff.  Some are complex and expensive, while others are simple and economical.  Nevertheless, all do the important job of conserving our precious resource, water.

Green Infrastructure for Wet Weather
The term green infrastructure describes a variety of site design techniques and structural practices used by communities, businesses, homeowners and others for managing stormwater.

New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual
The New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual provides designers with a general overview on how to size, design, select, and locate stormwater management practices at a development site to comply with State stormwater performance standards. This manual is a key component of the Phase II State Pollution Discharge Elimination System general permit for stormwater runoff from construction activities from all sizes of disturbance.


Watershed Groups back to top

Black Creek Watershed Coalition

Finger Lakes - Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance

Genesee River Wilds Project

Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance

Oatka Creek Watershed Committee

Saint Lawrence River Watershed Partnership

Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee


For more Information  back to top
 
Environmental Facilities Corporation
Environmental Facilities Corporation mission is to provide low-cost capital and expert technical assistance for environmental projects in New York State. Their purpose is to help public and private entities comply with federal and State environmental protection and quality requirements in a cost effective manner that advances sustainable growth. Environmental Facilities Corporation promotes innovative environmental technologies and practices in all of their programs.

GLERL: Great Lakes Water Quality
The Great Lakes Water Quality program at GLERL and the Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research is focused on understanding human health effects in the Great Lakes related to three research priority areas: beach closures, drinking water quality, and harmful algal blooms.


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This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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