The NY Water Sentinels is a citizen science stream water monitoring program affiliated with the Sierra Club. The focus of monitoring has been on local impacts from ongoing oil and gas extraction in NY and nearby states and on collecting baseline data on stream health to defend against the onset of fracking in NY. In addition to regular monitoring for conductivity, and visual assessment, samples are submitted twice a year for quality assurance and to a certified analytical laboratory for measurement of strontium and barium, indicators of shale water.
The NY Water Sentinels work with local citizen groups, university labs, and other water testing programs to recruit, train, support, and coordinate ongoing monitoring. The training of NY Water Sentinels volunteers is conducted by ALLARM, (Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring), a citizen science organization based out of Dickinson College.
Since December of 2011, the NY Water Sentinels have organized and trained 6 regional groups. To date, 160 volunteers have made over 1,500 visits to document conditions at 125 stream sites. Streams being monitored span 12 counties and 6 major watersheds across the Southern Tier. See our Project Status page for details.