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Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System

Lead Scientist(s): Dr. Stuart E.G. Findlay >

15 Stations in the Hudson River Estuary

Hydrologic variables:

  • Acidity
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Turbidity
  • Water Temperature
  • Water Level
  • Salinity
  • Chlorophyll
  • Specific Conductance

Meteorologic variables:

  • Air Temperature
  • Radiation
  • Rainfall
  • Relative Humidity
  • Wind Direction
  • Wind Gust
  • Wind Speed
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Absolute Pressure

Who uses HRECOS?

Scientists use the data to investigate how the river ecosystem functions, assess recovery from past disturbance, map sensitive plant and animal communities, track the fate of pollutants, and research the impacts of climate change on wetland communities.

Emergency Responders use on-the-ground conditions to guide rescue and recovery efforts.

River Pilots rely on depth measurements to safely dock and unload in shallow parts of the river, as well as dew point measurements to predict unsafe fog conditions.

Regulators use the data to monitor violations and water quality standards.

Educators engage students in place-based chemistry, biology, physics, and math lessons. Data from HRECOS is used by Cary educators as part of the Changing Hudson Project curriculum.

Sediment Stations

In marshes, sediment deposits buffer the shoreline from sea-level rise. But in excess, sediment destroys habitat, facillitates the transport of toxins, and increases operating costs for marinas and ports.

In addition to the basic monitoring network, HRECOS operates nine sediment monitoring stations located on the Hudson River and its tributaries. Sites include Waterford, on the Mohawk River in Cohoes, mid-estuary, and in six tributaries to the upper-estuary: Rondout, Kinderhook, Esopus, Normanskill, Roeliff Jansen, and Catskill Creeks.

Mobile Stations

A monitoring station onboard the Clearwater Sloop collects data between the permanent HRECOS stations, providing a more complete river-view. The Clearwater HRECOS station also plays a vital role educating school groups and public audiences about the role that environmental monitoring plays in resource managemagent.

Pump Station

Water samples for toxics, pharmaceuticals, and microbes can be collected automatically, triggered by an online request or a jump in a parameter's reading. This gives scientists access to the river when conditions would render manual sampling impossible.