FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 3, 2021
CONTACT: Martin Hain, firstname.lastname@example.org; Malaika Elias, email@example.com
Guardians of Flushing Bay Joins the Unified Water Study
Mamaroneck, NY – Save the Sound is happy to announce that Guardians of Flushing Bay (GOFB) is the newest member of the Unified Water Study (UWS), making them the 24th group to join! Since its inception in 2017, the UWS has worked to build standardized community water quality monitoring protocols so groups across Long Island Sound can collect comparable data on the environmental health of our bays and harbors.
“I would like to welcome Guardians of Flushing Bay on behalf of Save the Sound and the other 23 groups participating in the Unified Water Study,” said Peter Linderoth, director of water quality at Save the Sound. “They’ll be the fourth group in the study collecting water quality data in New York City bays and by focusing on Flushing Bay will substantially increase our understanding of the ecological health of these waters.”
The impetus for the UWS program was the scarcity in comparable data for the Sound’s bays and harbors in the first Long Island Sound Report Card, funded by the Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative in 2015. Save the Sound was chosen to design and coordinate the study, working in collaboration with science advisors, other monitoring groups, and regulatory agencies. With the help of Save the Sound and the study’s Science Advisors and funders, GOFB and fellow UWS monitoring groups will be trained and provided with monitoring equipment along with other resources they need to successfully collect data on water quality and ecological health.
Founded in 2015, GOFB is a coalition of dragon boaters, local residents, and environmental enthusiasts with a shared vision of a clean, healthy Flushing Bay that is open and accessible to the public. The origins of GOFB are both unique and empowering. While connecting over their shared love of Flushing Bay through recreation, a dragon boat team of cancer survivors cultivated a fierce desire to protect the water quality of Flushing Bay. They coalesced with other dragon boat teams, community partners, and advocates who also recognized the importance of green initiatives for Flushing Bay such as shoreline cleanups, water quality testing, and oyster restoration. That coalition grew into the broader GOFB and consists of diverse members from various dedicated community organizations.
“Guardians of Flushing Bay is thrilled to be a part of Save the Sound’s 2021 Unified Water Study,” said Rebecca Pryor, program coordinator for Guardians of Flushing Bay. “While we currently test for fecal indicators, there is so much more to know about our waterways! Over two billion gallons of annual raw sewage and stormwater is dumped into Flushing Bay every year through some of the largest combined sewage overflow pipes in New York City. Flushing Creek is the historic site of a massive coal ash dump and is the present day mix of active industry, struggling wetland, and speculative development. We are eager to be part of a comprehensive study that will better allow us to document data, compare trends, and advocate for the health of the water and communities who depend on it.”