Purpose and History
The goal of Harbor Watch is to provide the people of Connecticut with the data, knowledge, and field expertise necessary to safeguard our waterways, educate citizens about watershed issues, and train volunteers and student interns through hands-on research. This work supports the mission of Earthplace to build a passion in our community for nature and the environment through education, experience, and action. Since its inception, Harbor Watch has monitored over 250 sites for a variety of physical and biological parameters. See the map below to find out where we have worked, and where we are focusing our efforts for 2017!
Below is a map showing our 2017 summer river monitoring sites in blue. Each site will be tested biweekly for indicator bacteria and other water quality parameters.
Below is a map showing our bacteria (E. coli) results from the 2016 summer season. Dots shown in pale green and dark green had acceptable levels of bacteria, while sites shown in yellow, orange and red had elevated levels of bacteria indicative of a pollution problem.
Today – Harbor Watch is a premier water quality program in Fairfield County, Connecticut, inspiring water quality improvements and appreciation throughout the region. The program simultaneously addresses Long Island Sound contamination and educates the next generation of scientists through hands-on research and experiential learning. Since 1986, Harbor Watch has trained over 1,000 high school students, college interns, and adult volunteers in the work of protecting and improving the biological integrity of Long Island Sound.
2015 – Construction of a new laboratory at Earthplace begins, more than doubling the size of Harbor Watch’s science and education space.
2013 – Our second laboratory is formally certified by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. This expansion allows Harbor Watch to increase sample processing and efficiency.
2009 – A second laboratory is opened. It is funded by Norm Bloom and Son LLC and located at their facility in Norwalk.
1993 – Harbor Watch is incorporated as a program of Earthplace, home to the first Harbor Watch laboratory.
1986 – Dick Harris founds Harbor Watch as a citizens’ volunteer water quality monitoring group.