Monitoring the Saw Kill
The Saw Kill is 14.3 miles long and is contained within a 26.2-square-mile watershed that includes land in the towns of Red Hook, Milan, and Rhinebeck. It is a subwatershed of the Hudson Direct Drainage system, which includes all direct drainages in western Dutchess County. Each month, student volunteers and members of the Saw Kill Watershed Community collect samples from 14 sites along the Saw Kill. The Bard Water Lab then analyzes the samples for sewage-indicating bacteria, turbidity, chlorophyll a, colored dissolved organic material (CDOM), phycocyanin, and optical brighteners (OB). We also record the temperature and conductivity data that our volunteers collect while sampling. The lab maintains a data archive for the Saw Kill Watershed Community that houses historic water quality data, maps of subbasins, riparian buffers, wetlands, impervious surfaces, and dams in the Saw Kill watershed, along with a collection of the relevant literature.
Saw Kill Watershed Community
The Saw Kill Watershed Community (SKWC) plays a vital role in helping us monitor the Saw Kill and as a forum to reach the broader community. SKWC unites area residents who are interested in protecting their water by maintaining the health of the Saw Kill and its watershed—for clean drinking water, flood protection, water supply, recreation, and ecological resources.