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CURB Wraps Up a Successful Blue Team Internship Program with Yonkers Students

The Yonkers Blue Team internship program wrapped up August 16th with the ten students from Lincoln and Saunders High Schools presenting their research on water quality in the Hudson River to CURB staff and guests.

Over the past six weeks the Blue Team collected 65 water samples from the Hudson River at the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club dock and analyzed them for a fecal indicator bacteria, took chemical and physical measurements with a water quality probe, and collected weather data including rainfall totals.

The Blue Team found a statistically-significant correlation between bacteria levels and rainfall that occurred the day of sampling or the prior day. Rainfall three days or more prior to sampling did not appear to have a significant effect on bacteria levels. 

During sampling there were three known Combined Sewer Overflow events from the Pump Station next-door that discharged over 3 million gallons of partially treated sewage and stormwater into the Hudson. Because the Blue Team was sampling multiple times a day they were able to detect these discharges and watch bacteria levels fall rather quickly, sometimes within hours of these events, presumably due to dilution and tides.  However, a majority of the samples were taken in periods of dry weather and in promising news most of these samples were below or near EPA levels for safe swimming! 

As part of the program wrap-up the Blue Team also had the opportunity to go kayaking thanks to the YPRC River Riders, and had a special guest visit and Q&A with Rosa Mendez, Director of the NYS DEC Office of Environmental Justice, who is sponsoring the program.

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Pictured above - Rosa Mendez, Director of the NYS DEC Office of Environmental Justice, speaks to members of the Blue Team.

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Pictured above - Blue Team kayaking with the YPRC River Riders program.