07decAll DayStream Monitoring Event for Fall Creek and Virgil Creek Volunteer Group
Volunteers will be monitoring Fall Creek and Virgil Creek today as part of CSI’s Synoptic Stream Monitoring Program. These volunteers will be collecting field measurements and water samples at 11
Volunteers will be monitoring Fall Creek and Virgil Creek today as part of CSI’s Synoptic Stream Monitoring Program. These volunteers will be collecting field measurements and water samples at 11 locations in the Fall Creek watershed and 8 locations in the Virgil Creek sub-watershed. Samples collected by volunteers are analyzed at our EPA certified water testing lab for over 12 characteristics of water quality including nutrients, sediment, and pathogenic bacteria. Visit the Community Partnerships page for more information about the Synoptic Stream Monitoring Program. Volunteers can find a guide to sampling procedure and tracking sheets on the Volunteer Resources page.
The water quality of Fall Creek and Virgil Creek was first monitored by volunteers partnering with CSI in 2003. Over 17 years of data show the water in the creeks to be quite good. Temperatures near the headwaters of the creek stay cold throughout the year, providing suitable conditions for cold-water species like trout. Nutrient concentrations in Fall Creek and Virgil Creek are low relative to other tributaries in the Cayuga Lake watershed. Water samples collected at the mouth of Fall Creek average 34.21 mg/L of total phosphorus and 0.73 mg/L of inorganic nitrogen under baseflow conditions. Water samples collected at the mouth of Virgil Creek – before it flows into Fall Creek – average 29.77 mg/L of total phosphorus and 0.69 mg/L of inorganic nitrogen under baseflow conditions. During stormflow conditions, nutrient concentrations are much higher. Samples collected at the mouth of Fall Creek under stormflow conditions average 179.63 mg/L of total phosphorus. These results can be viewed or downloaded for use on CSI’s public Water Quality Database.
Fall Creek is a large tributary that flows from the headwaters of Lake Como through the towns of Summerhill, Groton, Dryden, Freeville, and Ithaca. It flows over the scenic Ithaca Falls and into Cayuga Lake west of Stewart Park in Ithaca. Virgil Creek is a tributary that flows from the headwaters of Dryden Lake through the town of Virgil, Dryden, and Freeville where it flows into Fall Creek. The Fall Creek watershed – including the Virgil Creek sub-watershed – is 128.68 square miles of agricultural land (46%), forest and wetlands (46%), and developed land (8%) (NLCD 2016).
If you are interested in helping CSI protect water in the Fall Creek and Virgil Creek watersheds, please email our Outreach Coordinator Nathaniel Launer.
All Day (Monday)
Community Science Instituteinfo@communityscience.org
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