National Water Monitoring Day (2002)

Representatives from the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) New Jersey office, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) participated in a series of water monitoring demonstrations on October 18 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act and to celebrate National Water Monitoring Day.

The event, organized by the USGS, took place along both the Delaware River and the Delaware and Raritan Canal at the Scudders Falls area of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park in Ewing Township, N.J.

Guests included DRBC Executive Director Carol R. Collier, NJDEP Chief of Staff Gary Sondermeyer, and USGS New Jersey District Chief Richard H. Kropp.

Students from the Perth Amboy (N.J.) High School Environmental Club and their teacher, Rebecca McLelland, were on hand to both observe and take part in measuring the quality of the water. They recently returned from the National Youth Watershed Summit held at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland from October 6-10 as part of the month-long "Year of Clean Water" celebration.

The Clean Water Act, enacted on October 18, 1972, set the goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. In the three decades since its passage, pollution abatement programs have yielded measurable improvements in water quality.

Lakes and streams that once were devoid of fish and other aquatic life now support numerous and varied aquatic populations. Point source discharges from municipal and industrial waste water treatment plants are being monitored and controlled.

However, the act has not resolved all of the nation's water pollution problems. Non-point source pollutants contained in storm water runoff from urban and rural landscapes alike are imposing a significantly increasing threat to the nation's waters.

A lot has been accomplished; a lot more needs to be done.

National Water Monitoring Day was coordinated by America's Clean Water Foundation and its many partners to bring together citizens from around the country to sample their rivers and streams. A major goal of the program is to create an awareness of how important it is to protect our waterways, a resource on which our lives depend.