Pollutants in NYC Waters

As mentioned in my previous post, my research is based on the pollutants found within the different bodies of water that surround New York City. In order to determine the types of pollutants found in the water, the water was physically and chemically analyzed. The members of the Billion Oyster Project, have given us access to all their sites and oyster cages around New York City. These sites include their site on Governors Island, and their sites at Battery Park, Hudson River Park, and the surrounding areas. It is from these sites that we have collected water samples and sediments.

We have been monitoring these sites weekly, and have begun taking their PH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity reading both on site and back at the lab. The PH readings have shown us that the water is slightly basic as the PH readings are high in the 7 range. The conductivity readings have been ranging between 24,000µs/cm and 25,000µs/cm readings. This data is being compared with data found in published papers to see how polluted the water is or if the oyster beds are actually helping clean our waters. We are running chemical analysis back at the lab using the atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to help us determine what chemicals are found in the waters surrounding the city. We continue to run these tests to see how the water quality improves weekly. Hopefully we will be able to continue working on this project in the winter in order to see a change over and an improvement in the water quality over a longer period.

Pollutants in NYC Waters

     My research is based on the pollutants that are found within the different bodies of water that surround New York City. In order to determine these types of pollutants, water samples must be chemically analyzed. To complete this research we are collaborating with the members of the Billion Oyster Project, as they will help us collect water samples and sediments from the sites where they have placed their oyster beds.

     Thus far, I have read the Billon Oyster Project manual which explains the protocols that they use to collect data from each of their different sites. I have also read several other scientific documents that provide me with background knowledge on the subject. I have been to Governor’s Island with Dr. Mojica alongside one of my research team members to see how the oyster beds are kept and to get an idea of how we will be collecting our water and sediment samples. While some of our tests will be done on site, such as the dissolved oxygen test, we will be bringing water samples back to the laboratory where the samples will be analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). We will be heading back out to Governor’s Island this Wednesday to collect our first samples and then we will collect samples from different sites around the city in the upcoming days.