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LONG ISLAND-NEW JERSEY NAWQA

Long Island-New Jersey NAWQA home page Long Island-New Jersey NAWQA home

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Long Island-New Jersey (LINJ) Coastal Drainages Study

FY1998 Workplan—Documenting and Archieving Information

The NJ District has a disk management system that provides excellent redundancy and backup capabilities for LINJ. Disk space and automatic backups are not a problem. Long-term documentation, however, requires some added planning. To document the planning process, we will publish our workplan, which is an evolving document, as an OFR (without budget detail of course). Most of the LINJ data should be published in the NJ and NY annual data reports. The district is building access to all NWIS data through the www/homepage. We are documenting the liaison proces, meeting summaries, our workplan, all factsheets, references to published reports, and eventually, a list of available GIS coverages through LINJ and/or district homepages. Most of our GIS coverages are part of the district GIS library and we have our own SU directory for coverages specific to the LINJ. Since the NJ district has a WORM drive, we will use it to generate a CD-ROM(s) of all LINJ data, GIS coverages, and appropriate text documents at the end of the HIF to archive all pertinent data for the longer term. Although we all reasonably proactive now, we will make a more concerted effort over the next 3 years to have our ducks in order.

MONITORING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

The major environmental factors that have and are expected to continue to induce change in water quality and aquatic health are related to the continual and extensive expansion of New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Although population is not growing that fast (4-5% per decade), there is almost continual urbanization of agricultural and undeveloped land and subsequent movement of people and necessary infrastructure out from the more dense urban areas. Furthermore, the agricultural land that is left in NJ and LI is being used more and more intensely to produce higher dollar products. This intensity, in turn, requires higher input of energy, chemicals, and water to maintain the desired level of productivity and profitability. Land and water resources of LI and NJ are consequently going to be more stressed in these future scenarios. It is imperative that data collection and analysis programs keep pace with the information needs of managers and planners. Fortunately, LI and NJ are quite progressive on these issues. This allows the LINJ to more easily acquire and update our land-use, water-quality, and other data on a more regular basis. It is our plan to continue to compile and utilize this data as it becomes available.

As an example, in 1996 we were able to obtain and use 1972 GIRAS and 1986 NJDEP ITU land use along with 1992 digital orthophotos quads of our `new urban' GW land use survey to select well locations and then later digitally compile, in a little over a month, existing land use on 500- and 50-meter buffers for all our 30 LUS wells. The NJGS helped us drill these wells. We were able to quickly develop a 3-D MODFLOW and MODPATH GW models in the area `before' the LUS design because of the existing wells, water levels, water use, geologic info, and other digital data available and moreso because of the existence of 2 previous coop groundwater assessment studies and 1 ongoing coop groundwater-supply modeling study. Further, we were able to collaborate on TE and CFC sampling on 16 of these wells in FY97 and 10 more flow-path wells in FY98 through an existing coop study of trace-element contamination of the Kirkwood-Cohansey (Z. Szabo).

In the next year or so, color IR DOQs for 1995-66 will be available for all of NJ. We have over 170 sites with surface-water-quality data, over 800 sites with benthic invertebrate data, over 300 sites with fish community and bed-sediment quality data, and over 1000 observation wells with extensive water-quality data. Furthermore, a GIS data base is available (Price, Smith, and Alexander) for 7200 NJ stream segments that alows quick assignment of attributes to corresponding old and new sampling sites. This was indespensible for our retro regression and multivariate analyses and for conceptualizing and selecting sites for the new NJ coop network. Consequently, owing in part to the percieved value of a NAWQA-like design and our interaction with certain District folks, the NJDEP/USGS water-quality monitoring network has just been approved for redesign. The new approach now integrates the chemical and biological networks, the GIS data bases, the State's Watershed Management Areas, and provides a means to improve data collection for toxics, biology, and important ancillary data. It is also planned to have a component to specifically address many of the future TMDL data needs as well.

It is all we can do some times just to keep up with all this information. Fortunately, our liaison committee and various district expertice have helped tremendously with advice and guidance on what efforts might be most productive. We are continuing to mine our water-quality and ancillary data bases. We simply have procure some additional GIS help in FY98 to continue the tasks at hand.

MONITORING WATER-RESOURCES ISSUES AND MANAGEMENT PLANS

We believe the NJ district and LI subdistrict offices are very proactive with respect to the water resources issues and needs of the LINJ study area. District people serve on many technical advisory committees for State and local water resources issues. Furthermore, the liaison committee has been very effective in providing feedback on available data, the relative importance and direction of issues, and where to best utilize our NAWQA resources. We have secured significant data bases that we have analyzed for many constituents and that we are mining for other issues. We are collaborating with the NJ and LI data networks to share resources and to improve each others efforts. For instance, the USGS and NJDEP have redesigned the NJ COOP water-quality network. The new design basically emulates the NAWQA fixed/synoptic survey designs in a rotational, watershed-based NJ network and integrates collection of toxics, biological, and ancillary data.

We have been collaborating/communicating with several State/USGS coop studies in NJ. One study is defining water-quality characteristics of NJ streams, a second study is looking at processes controlling trace-element geochemistry in the Coastal Plain surficial aquifer, a third study is assessing groundwater supply potential of the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer in the Glassboro area, and a forth study is assessing the vulnerability of public-supply wells in NJ to VOC contamination. There are other coop projects in the conceptual stages that will involve the sharing of data and ideas.

Several of our FY96-98 NAWQA efforts will directly benefit these cooperative networks and studies, for example, the occurrence and distribution of pesticides/VOCs in SW and GW, GW flow path modeling, and adding multiple lines of evidence including biology to their efforts. These NAWQA efforts largely could not have been afforded by State and local programs. We believe our efforts with the contaminant transport modeling, for instance, will demonstrate an effective tool for application in coop studies. The LI and NJ cooperators are very interested in these tools and analyses and are very supportive of the LINJ NAWQA efforts. The strong infrastructure and excellent databases that exist, coupled with the outstanding talent on the LINJ team, makes the LINJ SU ideally suited to advance our understanding of water-quality impacts/issues, especially in complex urban environments, to demonstrate the utility of various tools and, thereby, add to the effectiveness of the NAWQA paradigm in data rich areas.

BUDGET FOR THE LINJ SU

Our itemized budget request is in budget tables 1-4 and supplemental tables S1-S3. The fixed funding covers an equivalent of 8 FTE full time and 1.5 FTE contract salaries. Team composition and salaries (table S1) are also included. NJ maximum portion is $1,589,000 (account #4434-14000) and LI portion is fixed at $59,489 (account #4436-30500) unless further cuts are made to LI salaries.

In an effort to balance budget and data needs, our `optimum minimal' request would be for a budget of at least through item 3 below is $1,553,062, so that we can complete what we believe to be an appropriate minimum occurrence and distribution. A budget total through the bare minimum item 2 below is $1,531,227, but this leaves us short of including the Coastal Plain in our assessment of pesticides and algae/benthic invertebrate communities. We realize that items 4 and 5 below are optimistic; 4 below is $1,577,684 and 5 below is $1,648,489, but please consider what we would gain (or lose) in item 4. We submit the following priorities for our individual work tasks, listed in order of first is highest and last is lowest according to our perceived national/regional priority and our SU needs.

1. Tasks we clearly need to tell our "occurrence and distribution" story-- SUS New England bedrock ($85,639), IFS 3 sites ($80,126), IEA 6 sites ($34,076), BFS 4 sites ($37,545), BS&T ($69,451).

2. Tasks we clearly need to tell our "so what" story-- FPS NJ CP (Glassboro area) ($62,125).

3. Tasks we probably need to tell our "occurrence and distribution" story-- SW spatial pesticide synoptic SWS3 Coastal Plain ($10,335), Ecological algae/BI spatial synoptic Coastal Plain ($11,500).

4. Tasks that could help tell our "so what" story-- SW high-flow VOC source synoptic SPS4 Bound Bk ($6,245), SW pesticide spatial synoptic SPS5 Bound Bk ($11,853), SW VOC source synoptic SPS3 LI ($6,488). These tasks would greatly complement the urban comprehensive study.

5. Tasks that could help tell our "occurrence and distribution" story-- SUS NJ CP (Kirkwood-Cohansey) ($70,805). This SUS is useful as a NST data set, but probably adds little to LINJ efforts.

Our requests exceed the $1.525M target, which we consider low relative to our need. The LINJ locality pay is 8%, about 3-5% higher than most SUs. A 4% higher salary rate requires $32K more in gross funding for our net salaries of $443K. NJ also has a 44% district burden, which covers training, computers, report processing, shipping, some data management, some lab supplies, and 25% of the project chief. This amounts to a $67K higher budget request than for a 40% district burden. The locality pay and overhead amounts to about $100K more for the LINJ than a district with a 4% locality and 40% burden. Our most optimistic budget request is $123K over, item 4 is only $52K over target. In summary, we hope that our productivity has demonstrated that the costs of work in LINJ can be weighed in favor of a `higher than target' budget request.

LIAISON COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The liaison process has worked very effectively for the LINJ in providing the necessary feedback on where to best utilize our NAWQA resources. We had our 5th liaison meeting on April 3, 1997 to discuss the FY97 workplan activities and findings to date. We will follow in early winter 1998 with another meeting of results and FY98 plans. We get lots of good feedback on our project efforts from this group and always look forward to these meetings. Because of all the data analyses that are coming together, a meeting in early summer is also likely.

Information related to NAWQA can be obtained from:

NAWQA Project Chief, USGS
810 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 206
West Trenton, New Jersey 08628
Phone 609-771-3943

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