Examples of our recent work include:
Norwalk River: The Norwalk River is monitored for indicator bacteria and other physical parameters at 12 sites year-round. From May through September, the sites are monitored once per week. From October through April, the sites are monitored once per month. Harbor Watch has this type of data for the river from 1998 to the present. Through “track-down surveys” completed by Harbor Watch, certain sections of the river have been de-listed from the list of CT impaired waterways.
Norwalk Storm Drains: Nine continuously-flowing storm drain outfalls in Norwalk are monitored for indicator bacteria twice per month. When elevated counts are observed consistently, our monitoring teams then partner with the City of Norwalk to conduct an investigation manhole-by-manhole through the storm drain system until a point source is identified, at which point city officials work to have it remediated. Harbor Watch has bacteria data on these storm drains from 2010 to the present.
Sasco Brook: This brook, which is broken up into four sub-watersheds, has approximately 40 sites which have been monitored since 1994 for indicator bacteria. The brook is classified as “moderate to heavily impaired.” It runs through a variety of residential, farm, and commercial areas which each impact the water quality of the brook in different ways.
Pequonnock River: This river flows from Monroe, passing through Trumbull and flowing into Long Island Sound in Bridgeport. In 2009, Harbor Watch completed a contract to monitor 10 sites on the river for indicator bacteria. Additional contracts have been secured to add supplementary sites and continue this work. Harbor Watch currently monitors the Monroe and Trumbull sections (20 sites total) twice per month from May through September.
Benthic Fish Trawling: We study three harbors (Norwalk, Saugatuck, and Five Mile) for juvenile benthic fish abundance and species richness. Trawling trips take place twice per week from May through October. Wilton High School’s Marine Biology Club is one group that acts as the crew for trawls in Norwalk Harbor. These students present their findings at the Flatfish Biology Conference hosted by NOAA.
Oxygen Profile Survey: Profile surveys are used to capture conditions in the river from surface to bottom, tracking oxygen and monitoring salt wedges. The surveys are conducted in the early morning at 25 sites weekly. This work is completed by long term volunteers, often without staff assistance.