Harbor Water Quality;Purpose: To research water quality concerns around NYC’s Harbor and consider the importance of regulations and monitoring to protect local waterways.
The New York Harbor is an essential component of New York City’s success; it’s relied upon for its ecological services, transportation, industrial and commercial value. Water quality concerns have long been a part of NYC’s Harbor history, but today, our waterways around the city continue to see significant improvements with the help of environmental protection regulations, engineering and technology advancements, and public awareness.
NYC DEP is responsible for meeting water quality standards for the approximately 1.3 billion gallons of treated wastewater that is released back into the waterways surrounding the five boroughs every day. NYC DEP is also responsible for managing water released into local waterways that may be untreated or unintentional. Due to large amounts of stormwater, runoff can flow directly into the city’s waterways through the separate storm sewer system (30% of city sewers) and runoff can mix with untreated wastewater that can often flow directly into the city’s waterways through the combined sewer system (70% of city sewers). Today, stormwater runoff and the pollutants it carries is a major water quality concern for NY Harbor.
Choose one waterway around New York Harbor and research its importance to the history of the harbor, as well as its evolving water quality. Some to consider: Hudson River, East River, Jamaica Bay, Newtown Creek, Gowanus Canal, Bronx River, etc.
1. Introduce the waterway you have chosen (location, characteristics or features, etc.) and include a brief description of its history (its importance to the city, past/present primary uses, and ecological significance).
2. Through your research, which water quality concerns are an issue for this waterway (past/present)? Which agencies and organizations are involved in improving and/or protecting this waterway?
3. What is the Clean Water Act? Which subsequent water regulations also help protect the NY Harbor?
4. Describe the importance of dissolved oxygen in a waterway. Looking at NYC DEP’s Harbor Water Survey Program and ongoing sampling data (on the DEP website), which other water quality parameters are monitored to tell us more about the health of our local waterways? How does your waterway compare to others around NY Harbor?
5. Describe any solutions presently being proposed or already being adopted for improving the water quality of your waterway. Describe additional solutions that you would consider proposing (based on solutions for other waterways with similar concerns), and why.
Notes: Some example websites to visit for general information on monitoring water quality:
· NY State Department of Environmental Conservation – Water Quality Concerns
· NYC DEP – Harbor Water (includes sampling data and annual harbor water quality reports) http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/harborwater/index.shtml
· NYC DEP – Video on Harbor Water Quality Monitoring
· US Environmental Protection Agency – Clean Water Act
Submission: Each student should submit a typed write-up of your complete responses to the above questions; including the proper citations for references to any websites, articles, maps or additional sources (see below). Your responses should be in an essay format with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion – recommended 2-3 pages, double-spaced. This response paper should include a cover sheet with your name, the class, homework assignment, and date. Submit on Blackboard.
Author last name, First initial. (Year published). “Title of article.” Publisher, (Date accessed on internet).
Example: Burka, L. (2002). “A hypertext history of multiuser dimensions.” MUD history, (Dec. 5, 2003).
Grading: Out of 10 points
Proper format: 1 point
References: 1 point
Responses to Questions 1-4: 6 points
Responses to Question 5: 2 points
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