The town of Patchogue has teamed up with Cornell University to help understand and maintain the towns storm water management. With this being said, Carolyn Sukowski from Cornell has reached out to Fire Island National Seashore to assist with a newly formed water quality workshop!
This workshop takes place at the Watch Hill Ferry Terminal and is geared towards high school students, college students, or anyone interested in water quality education. Carolyn begins the workshop with a clear and easy to understand back round on storm water, run-off, pathogens in water and water stratification. After the presentation, participants are able to test the turbidity of the Patchogue River, take water samples of the bottom and surface layer, and then use the samples to determine temperature and salinity. At the first workshop, two Pat-Med High School students from the Honor Society and Ecology Club were able to determine that the Patchogue River at that particular time had signs of ocean stratification since the top layer (fresh water from the village’s run-off into the bay) had a lower salinity than the bottom layer (dense salty ocean water). The students were able to work hands-on and continuously be engaged throughout the work-shop.
Carolyn Sukowski and her co-worker hope to eventually do more in-depth scientific water quality research on the Patchogue River, such as looking for the presence of pathogens, since this kind of surveying is not already being done by the town or an environmental agency. With hopes to collect real raw data, Carolyn would be able to eventually determine a trend in the water quality of the river and use this data to help the town create more efficient waste-water and storm-water management plans.