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Water Quality Division

The Water Quality Program at NEIWPCC is a dynamic group of science and policy experts, projects, and programs all working to advance clean water in the Northeast through collaboration with, and service to, our member states.  Clean waters are important to those who fish, swim, and recreate in the water and to animals and plants that make it their home. Overall, water quality is the chemical, physical, and biological properties of aquatic ecosystems.

Click on the image above to view a story map detailing who we are and some of our recent work.

Our work, centered on the Clean Water Act, involves many steps:

  • goals and water quality standard setting,
  • monitoring activities and data analysis, and
  • recommendations for adaptive management strategy implementation.

These steps apply to many different water types, from lakes, to rivers, wetlands, land habitats, and estuaries – many of which have shores and banks in more than one state. NEIWPCC’s Water Quality Program assists our member states in every aspect of this often complicated process.

Hand=pulling water chestnuts, and invasive species

Workgroups

Workgroups are our primary tool for fostering collaboration, we engage and convene water quality professionals and other stakeholders across the Northeast to collaborate on clean water and environmental science challenges across shared regions, ecosystems, and areas of expertise. Water Quality staff meet regularly with representatives from the Northeast states, EPA, and other involved organizations. Workgroup members exchange information and ideas on current Clean Water Act-related initiatives and technical projects. We have workgroups devoted to the following issues:

Place Based Programs

Programs that focus on a specific watershed, region, or state are an integral part of our work.  Staff members in the Water Quality Division support the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan, Long Island Sound Study, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, Peconic Estuary Partnership, and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management – Office of Water Resources. Our staff members in these programs work every day to support programs to evaluate, monitor, protect, and preserve the region’s water quality.

National Policy

We actively represent the interests of member states at meetings with federal and state officials and in regional and national water and wastewater associations. Making sure that decision makers in Washington hear the voice of the Northeast is another task that NEIWPCC takes very seriously. By working closely with partners in our member states, the Water Quality Division staff develops comment letters and position statements that represent the states’ viewpoints on national policy and legislation. Because of our strong history of representing our states’ interests, NEIWPCC staff are also a resource for those with questions about the states’ environmental policies and positions.

Monitoring

The program also coordinates, designs, and conducts water quality monitoring and management studies. We create technical guides and educational publications that are either specific to one of the 26 interstate basins in our jurisdiction or are focused on a particular subject area. Whatever the project or location, our role is clear  — to advance clean water in the Northeast through collaboration with, and service to, our member states. Our vision is clean and sustainable water throughout the Northeast.

We conduct research into water-related topics, monitor related environment factors, and fund such work by others. We also implement and fund environmental restoration and other on-the-ground projects.

 Additional Resources

Special Projects

For more information, contact Richard Friesner, Ph.D., NEIWPCC’s director of water quality programs at rfriesner@neiwpcc.org.