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30 Year Biological Trends Report

Since 1972, New York State has monitored the health of its rivers and streams by studying the biological communities living in them. Macroinvertebrates are excellent indicators of overall water quality because they are sensitive to environmental impacts, are less mobile than fish and cannot avoid most discharges, and are abundant in the state's waters. Statewide ambient water quality monitoring is conducted on a rotating cycle, and since this monitoring began, many bodies of water have been sampled multiple times, providing the means to identify temporal trends in water quality. "30 Year Trends in Water Quality of Rivers and Streams in New York State, Based on Macroinvertebrate Data" presents a summary of the trends seen statewide, as well as those for many individual rivers and streams.

You may download the entire report (PDF) (14.5 MB) or individual sections as listed below.

30 Year Trends in Water Quality of Rivers and Streams in New York State

Introduction (PDF) (2.34 MB) - includes the report cover, table of contents and description of the WI/PWL program.

report cover shows staff collecting samples in a stream

Basin Assessments

Appendices (PDF) (978 KB) - includes biological sampling methods.


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  • NYSDEC
    Stream Biomonitoring Unit
    Division of Water
    425 Jordan Road
    Troy, NY 12180
    518-285-5627
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