Newtown Creek SAMPLES Project 2021-07-18T16:31:04+00:00

Project Description

Newtown Creek SAMPLES Project

Project Lead: Newtown Creek Alliance
2015 Project Partners: LaGuardia Community College; North Brooklyn Community Boathouse, formerly North Brooklyn Boat Club
2018 Project Partners: Environmental Science program at LaGuardia Community College; and North Brooklyn Community Boathouse
Project Location: Newtown Creek; East River; and Greenpoint-wide
Total GCEF Funding: $76,608
2015 GCEF Grant: $34,985 2018 GCEF Grant: $27,962
2019 Budget Addition: $6,325 2020 GCEF Grant: $7,336
Total Matching Contribution: $43,936
2015 Matching Contribution: $31,936 2018 Matching Contribution: $12,000
2015 Project Completed: June 2017 2018 Project Completed: July 2019
2020 Project Completed: September 2020

In 2015, through a competitive process, Newtown Creek Alliance (NCA) received a $34,985 GCEF grant (and provided $31,936 in matching funds) to deliver the “Studying Aquatic Metrics for Public Learning and Ecological Services” (SAMPLES) project. The first SAMPLES project was an intensive half-year period of collecting and analyzing water quality samples from locations surrounding Greenpoint, primarily in Newtown Creek. The project included measuring such water quality parameters as Enterococcus bacteria, which indicate the presence of sewage, as well as nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and temperature. The data collected by the project were used to engage and educate the local community about area geographic and environmental conditions, the effect of human activities on waterways, city infrastructure, and the combined impact of these factors on local water quality.

NCA continued its SAMPLES project in 2018 and 2019, after undergoing a second proposal process and receiving another competitive GCEF grant of $27,962 (with $12,000 in matching funds) in 2018, and a budget addition of $6,325 in 2019. With these additional monies, NCA also conducted a public education campaign on its monitoring efforts and how Greenpoint residents can help improve water quality in Newtown Creek.

In 2020, NCA was awarded an additional GCEF grant to continue the Newtown Creek water sampling program. The funds allowed NCA to conduct 18 days of water sampling over the course of 23 weeksdata collected were utilized to further educate and engage the Greenpoint community about the stewardship of Newtown Creek. In addition, NCA designed and printed a series of three water quality reports based on their monitoring activities. Copies of the booklets were made available to the Greenpoint community through public events held by NCA, and can be found online at the NCA website.

NCA and LaGuardia Community College hope to continue conducting regular water quality sampling based on protocols established through the GCEF-funded SAMPLES project in order to gain further understanding of the water quality of Newtown Creek and opportunities for improving it.

For more information, visit Newtown Creek Alliance’s SAMPLES page:

  • Completed water-quality testing from 8 sampling sites in local waters over a 26-week period in 2016
  • Partnered with North Brooklyn Community Boathouse (NBCB), in 2016, to run 3 canoe trips on Newtown Creek with approximately 50 people in total participating
  • Held a public event, in 2017, to share information about the project with approximately 50 people in attendance
  • Completed water-quality testing from 10 sampling sites in local waters over a 37-week period in 2018 and an 11-week period in 2019
  • Hosted 38 people for water quality sampling outings
  • Partnered with NBCB, in 2018-2019, to run 3 canoe trips on Newtown Creek with 21 people participating
  • Held a second public event to share information about the 2018-2019 project with 50 people in attendance
  • Communicated collected information with city and state agencies as part of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection plan, “Combined Sewer Overflow Long-Term Control Plan for Newtown Creek”
  • Completed water-quality testing from 10 sampling sites over a 23-week period in 2020
  • Created a series of 3 booklets explaining the project, as well as water-quality-monitoring results, and observations of shore bird populations, algal blooms, and marine debris for distribution to the Greenpoint community
  • Shared daily and seasonal water-quality related information through social media
  • Established a framework, and strengthened relationships with existing partners, to sustain the project and continue sampling programs into the future