By Annabelle Dominguez, Summer Intern

As we head into the second half of the year, we’d like to share some Blue Water Task Force updates for the first half of 2022, including the exciting expansion of the program!

  1. Transition to Glassware in our Southampton Lab

Earlier this year, we shared another blog post covering how the lab replaced some of our plastic containers with glass bottles, thanks to generous funding from the Long Island Community Foundation, which also allowed us to purchase a set of glass pipettes. Since the pipettes were in short supply, we had to use some disposables while they were back-ordered. This past month, we were finally able to purchase more glass pipettes, marking our complete transition to glassware that will greatly reduce our plastic waste! So far in 2022, we have saved 727 pieces of disposable plastic from using the glass bottles alone! 

New glassware in the lab at the Peconic Baykeeper office.
  1. Addition of 14 New Sampling Sites

Towards the end of 2021, the BWTF program added 10 new sites, most of which included locations further west, as well as our first few sites on the North Fork! Earlier this year, we added 4 more sites, one of them being Heady Creek in Southampton, which is sampled by the women at Shinnecock Kelp Farmers. We are so grateful for the involvement of the Shinnecock Reservation, as well as the help of all our volunteers that allow us to continue expanding the BWTF!

The complete list of our newest sites – click the links to see the data!

2021

2022

…and maybe a few more coming soon! Stay tuned!

  1. More Volunteers!

We are so lucky to have more volunteer engagement in the program this year, as they were trained to sample at some of our latest sites, and a few old ones, too! Some volunteers are taking turns now, which is very helpful when something comes up and we need extra coverage. We also brought back our summer internship opportunity after a few years hiatus, so our two interns will be also helping out to cover several sites in Sagaponack and East Hampton Villages. 

A volunteer takes a sample at one of our newer locations, Little Northwest Creek in Sag Harbor.
  1. The 2021 Eastern Long Island BWTF Report

Our latest BWTF report was just released earlier this summer, which provides a review of our chapter’s program and a summary of the testing results from last year. Additionally, it outlines key outcomes of our results, as well as clean water solutions, highlighting the importance and impact of the program in our local community. We had a successful press event about the report to draw more attention to our vast water sampling program.

Thank you to our members, volunteers, and sponsors for your continued support! The growth and improvement in our BWTF program would not have been possible without your help.