The Environmental Research Laboratory is gearing up for the 2011 sampling season. This summer, we will continue its collaboration with NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) to provide support and analysis for volunteer lake and river monitoring groups in the northern part of the state. Last summer’s work led to the addition of 8 new lakes in Coos County to the state Volunteer Lake Assessment Program, and we anticipate more lake groups using our lab in the future.
In the next few weeks, CFE will be collaborating with DES on workshops with current lake monitoring groups in the North Country. The workshops will provide the groups with an analysis of the water quality data they collected in the past year and give recommendations for future monitoring and lake management. These workshops will also serve as informational sessions for individuals in the area interested in monitoring their lake.
In addition, CFE worked this winter with the Israel River volunteer monitoring group to measure chloride concentrations in the Israel River. Road salt applied to roads in the winter can make its way into rivers and streams. At high enough concentrations, the salt can harm fish and other biological communities. From November to March, a sensor was installed in the river to collect conductivity measurements throughout the winter. The data will now be analyzed to determine whether there were any periods of high concentrations of chloride in the river and, if so, when they occurred. CFE will present the data and all findings to the Jefferson Conservation Commission in June. The data will be used to assess the effects of road salt on the river and provide a baseline for long-term monitoring.