Week 5: Otter Creek Sampling & Rensselaer Land Trust

July 26th found us back at Otter Creek, a tributary to the Tomhannock Reservoir. There we met up with Doug Reed to survey the life in the stream, then chatted with Nick Conrad, a zoologist and bioinformatics specialist familiar with Rensselaer Land Trust’s approach to preserving land around the Tomhannock to improve water quality. While we were on site, youth science fellow Trey Dickson interviewed Sebastian Pillitteri, a Water Justice Lab team member and community science manager from Riverkeeper, a clean water advocacy group that protects and restores the Hudson River. Listen to Sebastian and Trey here.

As documented in our 2022 season interview with Doug, sampling macroinvertebrate life (aquatic insects visible to the naked eye) can help us understand the health of a water body. You can also see photographs of the macroinvertebrates we found at Otter Creek last year.

After we wrapped up our sampling, Nick Conrad joined us on the banks of Otter Creek to discuss how the Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) works to protect water quality in our drinking watershed. The sampling site we visited is part of a recent land aquisition by RLT under their Water Quality Protection Program. Water Justice Lab youth science fellow Trey Dickson interviewed Nick with the support of media mentor Alÿcia Bacon.

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