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Equipment loan program for water quality monitoring

Since 2015, the EPA Region 2 Participatory Science Water Monitoring Equipment Loan Program has provided access to field and laboratory equipment to volunteer monitoring organizations, participatory science groups, nongovernment organizations, academic institutions, local governments, Tribal Nations, and other organizations. The available equipment includes instruments for measuring water quality parameters (YSI multimeter sondes), pathogen monitoring (IDEXX testing for bacteria: Enterococcus, fecal coliform, total coliform and E. Coli), and microplastic collection (manta trawl – boat required) along with handheld GPS units and turbidity tubes. Organizations that participate receive hands-on training from EPA regional staff. All recipients must submit a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) before receiving their equipment, provide monthly updates, and submit a final report that summarizes the work and outcomes of the data collection. This program is open to participatory scientist organizations in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and nine Tribal Nations. Priority is given to sites within communities with environmental justice issues and new applicants. The program runs annually in New York and New Jersey to reflect the general sampling season (May-November). Beginning in 2018, to accommodate more communities, the program began working with the Caribbean Science Consortium to set up a formal system of Equipment Loan Centers with university partners throughout Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. There are currently seven centers in Puerto Rico and two in the US Virgin Islands, each with their own full set of equipment maintained by university staff. This project requests applications annually in February/March for NY and NJ and on a rolling basis in Puerto Rico and the USVI.

Project URL:

Geographic Scope: New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Cayuga Nation, Onondaga Nation, Oneida Indian Nation, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Seneca Nation of Indians, Shinnecock Indian Nation, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Tuscarora Nation

Project Status: Active - recruiting volunteers

Participation Tasks: Data analysis, Data entry, Learning, Measurement, Observation, Problem solving, Sample analysis, Site selection and/or description,

Start Date: 04/01/2015

Project Contact:

Federal Government Sponsor:

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Other Federal Government Sponsor:

Fields of Science: Biology, Chemistry, Ecology and environment, Education, Nature and outdoors, Ocean/water and marine

Intended Outcomes: The goal of this program is to allow collection of data by participatory science organizations, which can be used locally to better understand water pollution and protect water quality in local communities.