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How to Interpret Dr. Chris Gobler's Water Quality Report

Follow Dr. Gobler's Water Quality Report this Summer 

Over the last several years throughout the summer months, Dr. Chris Gobler of The Gobler Lab at Stony Brook University has collaborated with News 12 Long Island to bring Long Islanders a weekly water quality report through the Long Island Water Quality Index.  Be sure to check out these weekly reports on the News 12 Long Island website under the “Weather” tab.  Click here for the reports: http://longisland.news12.com/story/35643003/news-12-long-island-water-quality-report

This weekly water quality report presents data on roughly thirty sites throughout the waters surrounding Long Island. Each site is tested for six different parameters: fecal coliform bacteria, chlorophyll, harmful algae, brown tide, dissolved oxygen and water clarity. A color-coded interactive map is provided that allows readers to pinpoint each individual site and see how it compares to others throughout the region.  Every week, each water quality parameter is ranked on a scale using state and federal standards.  These rankings determine an overall score for the water quality at each of the thirty sites.  They are represented by a ranking of either Good (green) Fair (yellow) or Poor (red).  Under the map, a summary report is provided that contains the week’s highlights.  Notable conditions such as the occurrence of algal blooms and/or other unique circumstances are detailed.

It’s important to note that the data that is provided in the weekly report is not intended to be used for determining the safety of shellfishing, swimming or boating.  Please check in with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding information related to shellfishing beds and the Nassau and Suffolk County Departments of Health for beach closures.    

The Water Quality Index not only provides the public with an overall understanding of how its precious water resources are fairing, but it provides a baseline of data that can be utilized to determine what actions are necessary and where in order to mitigate potential water pollution problems in our future.   

To read each week’s water quality report be sure to check out the Long Island Water Quality Index found on the News 12 Long Island website under the “Weather” tab.  http://longisland.news12.com/story/35643003/news-12-long-island-water-quality-report

By: Jennifer Hartnagel, Group for the East End

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