Monday, October 3, 2016

Pathogen Patrol with Canines

Clean Ocean Action brought in the hounds to help improve water quality in the Navesink River! Throughout the week of September 19, COA partnered with Environmental Canine Services (ECS), a company based in Maine that uses scent-trained canines to detect failing sewer and septic infrastructure. The canines and their trainers, Scott and Karen Reynolds, worked with COA to analyze past tracking and water monitoring studies to determine “hot spot” locations and to develop a strategy for following the scent of failing infrastructure “upstream” into the municipalities that surround the River.


ECS and COA worked hand in hand with NJDEP representatives who took water samples for lab analysis in conjunction with the canine source tracking methods. Additionally, the fantastic staffs of Red Bank, Fair Haven and the Middletown public works departments along with representatives from the Monmouth County Health Department and US EPA assisted, with the efforts. COA thanks everyone who made this week a collaborative success, including the NJDEP, the Monmouth County Health Department and all of the municipal employees who opened numerous manhole covers, inspected stormwater infrastructure and provided their knowledge base of the area in order to improve the Navesink River. Results are being analyzed and will be released as this process unfolds.



On September 21, COA and the Rally for the Navesink Coalition held the third public meeting at Riverview Hospital to discuss “Storm Drains 101”, the use of Environmental Canine Services in the watershed and answer questions from the public. NJDEP presented on Storm water 101, and COA provided a fun trivia activity for the audience to test their knowledge of the stormwater system and a short introduction to the canines. ECS then held a demonstration and answered questions from the public. The event was informative and engaging. The next Rally for the Navesink public meeting will be hosted by Monmouth Conservation Foundation on October 20 at the Knollwood School at 7pn and will focus on citizen action steps to promote river-friendly living.

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