The Nassau County Western Bays Water Quality Monitoring Program’s overarching goal is to provide a framework for monitoring, analysis, and reporting of water quality within the surface waters of the Western Bays and its major tributaries (within the South Shore Estuary Reserve). The LIRPC, Hofstra University and the Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways (ToHC&W) are partnering on this program which will continue and expand upon the monitoring work that the Town of Hempstead performed for approximately five decades.
The water quality data that is collected from strategic locations will provide a baseline against which to evaluate changes to nutrient loading that are expected in the next decade as a result of large-scale green and gray infrastructure upgrades in the region. This includes an immediate need for sampling around the South Shore Water Reclamation Facility (formerly called the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant) before major upgrades are completed. Sampling sites will be in areas influenced by these infrastructure upgrades. The sampling is expected to begin in September of 2019.
In addition to improving our understanding of infrastructure-related impacts on our water resources, regular analysis and reporting of new water quality data will help to increase our understanding of the impacts associated with severe storms and long-term changes related to development and climate change. As part of this initiative, Hofstra University and the ToHC&W will analyze the historic water quality record for trends and gaps. The program will also provide a cost-effective means to monitor atmospheric nitrogen deposition, which is one of the more poorly quantified Nitrogen inputs to the south shore of Long Island.
A Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) is being prepared for this water quality monitoring program. As defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a QAPP is “a document that outlines the procedures that those who conduct a monitoring project will take to ensure that the data they collect and analyze meets project requirements.”