Streams Monitored
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We have been monitoring flow and chemistry in Adirondack streams for over twenty years, principally using grab samples and periodic discharge measurements to estimate nutrient loads in support of lake management. We started using remote loggers to measure stream stage in 2007 when we instrumented the tributaries and outlet of Upper Saranac Lake. We expanded our use of remote loggers in 2010 by installing conductivity loggers to monitor stream response to road salting, also within the Saranac River watershed. In 2011 we initiated a new monitoring program called the Adirondack Regional Index Stream Network (ARISN). The purpose of ARISN is to provide high-quality and reliable data in a cost-effective manner that informs science and policy while providing for long-term surveillance for unanticipated change. The ARISN streams were established across a gradient of paved road density and currently include 4 least-impacted streams for benchmarking. Each stream is instrumented with remote loggers for stage and conductivity and is sampled in a manner that allows for high resolution estimates of in-stream nutrient concentrations and export. Our intent is for ARISN to serve as a platform for regional-scale investigations of biogeochemical and ecological responses to stressors in stream environments, and we invite collaborators interested in overlaying their work on this network.

Paul Smith's College students and AWI employees Brandon Morey and Sean Patton describe the stream monitoring project
Stream Monitoring
Monitoring Road Salt Pollution

New York State is the largest user of road salt in North America, and the amount of road salt used in the Adirondack Park greatly exceeds the inputs of other regionally important pollutants. Road salt has the potential for significant negative ecological effects that may be on par with or greater than those reported for other pollutants. The objectives of this project are to understand the effects of road salt application rates on soil fertility and water quality and to develop practical information to aid agencies and municipalities in selecting management practices that reduce the impacts of road salt on forest and water resources. Stream discharge and chemical export are being monitored intensively on a network of 15 streams in the Adirondack Park representing a broad range of road salt application rates. To provide high-quality and reliable data in a cost-effective manner our approach is to measure specific conductance and stream stage at 30 minute intervals with remote loggers. Water samples are collected periodically for chemical analysis and calibration curves are developed from these data to estimate stream chemistry from conductivity. Export is determined by multiplying estimated ion concentrations by stream discharge, which is derived from stage-discharge calibration curves also developed over time through periodic stream velocity measurements. The data will be used to develop relationships between road salt application rate and water quality response that managers can then use to help choose and justify alternative road salt application rates to meet water quality objectives.

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Paul Smiths, NY (06/12/2018) — The Paul Smith's College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) has been awarded a five-...

View the full ALAP Report: https://www.adkwatershed.org/sites/default/files/alap_2018_v1_web.pdf

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The mission of the Adirondack Watershed Institute of Paul Smith's College is to create scientifically-sound knowledge about terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and human relationships with the environment, enhance the educational opportunities available for undergraduate students and to engage the Adirondack Community in ways that facilitate the stewardship of our natural resources.

Adirondack Watershed Institute
Paul Smith's College
P.O. Box 265, Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0244
Tel: 518-327-6213
Fax: 518-327-6369