Kingston, NY, October 14, 2013 - Three thousand students from nearly 70
sites between New York City and Troy participated in the annual "A Day
in the Life of the Hudson River" event, now in its 11th year. Students
collect scientific information to create snapshots of the river at
dozens of locations, then share their data using Web-based technology so
they can better understand how their piece of the river fits into the
larger Hudson estuary ecosystem.
Sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation's (NYSDEC) Hudson River Estuary Program and produced with
assistance from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia
University, "Day in the Life" coincides with National Estuaries Day and
World Water Monitoring Day. With a primary goal of NYSDEC being to
connect New Yorkers to nature, the Hudson River Estuary Program helps
encourage and prepare students to become stewards of the river’s water
quality and natural resources.
“A Day in the Life is a wonderful estuary-wide event giving students the opportunity to participate in river monitoring and for schools to share the data," said NYSG's Hudson River Specialist Nordica Holochuck
, who participated in this year's event at Little Stony Point Beach in Cold Spring, NY (pictured at right), where Haldane Middle and High School students took part in a measuring exercise to collect some scientific data.
At Holochuck's and other event locations, teams of students and environmental educators use seine nets and lab equipment to investigate aquatic life, water chemistry and quality, tides and weather. Many groups also collect core samples of river bottom mud for analysis.
In addition to supervising the students at her site, Holochuck - who serves as an ex-officio member of the NYSDEC Hudson Estuary Program Advisory Committee - helped the group to better understand the estuary–wide significance of the day.
Participants' findings contribute to ongoing research projects, and data from the event is incorporated into the lesson plans developed by the Hudson River Estuary Program and available to all teachers in the Hudson Valley.
As part of the annual "Day in the Life of the Hudson River," students from the Robert C. Parker school engaged in hands on science tests on the Hudson River.
"This is a great example of the kind of project enabled by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund" said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "The Day in the Life" annual event enables students to experience firsthand how fish diversity relates to their local waterway. Students also learn how upriver communities connect to downriver ones, and that the watershed and the coast are part of a shared system that so many New Yorkers can benefit from."
Participation in this year's event brought the total number of students, educators, and volunteers involved to more than 23,700 since 2003. Armed with seine nets and minnow pots, they've caught over 18,600 fish of 54 species, ranging from the abundant Atlantic silverside (4,898 over 10 years) to the odd summer flounder, lined seahorse and spotted hake, each caught only once. The striped bass has been one of the species caught at the most sites, from Manhattan's saltwater piers to Columbia County's freshwater shore. Once in decline coast-wide, stripers have rebounded to a prosperous recreational fishery thanks in part to DEC efforts.
Where possible, Estuary Program staff facilitate partnerships between participating classes and local environmental education organizations for Day in the Life. Training workshops, online lesson plans, specialized equipment, 10 years of data, and other resources are provided.
For more information about this past fall's "Day in the Life" as well as access to ten years of past data, visual aids and contact information, visit the Official "Day in the Life of the Hudson" Web site