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For Release: Wednesday, October 5, 2022

DEC and Partners to Host 5,000 Student Scientists at 20th Annual 'Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor'

Science-Focused Field Day Connects Students with River and New York Harbor

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that DEC's 20th annual "A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor" is taking place on Thursday, Oct. 13. Shorefronts along the Hudson River and the piers of New York Harbor will be busy with activity as thousands of students equipped with seine nets, minnow pots, and water testing gear collect data on the Hudson's fish and invertebrates, track the river's tides and currents, and examine water chemistry and quality.

"DEC's annual 'Day in the Life' event gives student scientists up and down the river the unique opportunity to experience the tidal Hudson and its diverse habitats, fish, and wildlife firsthand," said Commissioner Seggos. "From Troy to New York Harbor, the Hudson River's bounty is ecologically and economically valuable to our state and much of the Atlantic coast. This annual event gives students of all ages the chance to go down to the river and learn about the environment and it's just one of the ways DEC is inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards."

New York students from elementary through college partner with DEC and environmental education centers to collect scientific data using hands-on field techniques to capture a snapshot of the river's ecology at more than 60 sites along the Hudson. The data collected by students provides insights into an ecosystem spanning 160 miles of the Hudson River and New York Harbor and is posted online after the event.

Participating classes represent the diversity of New York's student population in urban and rural communities along the estuary. This year, more than 5,000 students and educators from more than 65 schools will participate.

"Day in the Life" is more than a field trip and gives students the opportunity to don waders or use a fishing rod to collect data on many of the Hudson's 200-plus species of fish. Most are young fish, evidence of the Hudson's importance as nursery habitat. Some years, students catch surprising fish like seahorses, conger eels, and needle fish. Students also examine the physical and chemical aspects of the river with a wide range of equipment such as dissolved oxygen and pH kits, to high-tech refractometers and simple plastic hydrometers to measure salinity and find the salt front - the leading edge of dilute seawater pushing up the estuary.

DEC's estuary program staff connect the field day with the classroom by conducting pre- and post-visits in numerous schools that participate in Day in the Life. Lessons on-site and in the classroom fulfill state learning standards in a variety of subjects. Post-trip activities connect students to other sites through the data collected up and down the tidal Hudson. Additionally, students will learn about the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System, a computerized network of real-time monitoring stations extending from Manhattan to the Mohawk River. These data can be used to help students better understand the dynamic factors constantly impacting the Hudson River ecosystem.

Now in its 20th year, "Day in the Life" was originally called "Snapshot Day," and 341 students and educators from 11 schools participated in the initial event in 2003. By 2007, the event grew to more than 2,500 participants at 49 Hudson River sites and was renamed "A Day in the Life of the Hudson River Estuary." Now encompassing sites in New York Harbor and its tributaries as well the Mohawk River, this eagerly anticipated event is known as "A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor." At least a dozen schools have been participating for 15 to 20 years, including Pearl River, Kingston, Mahopac, Ossining, Nyack, Croton Harmon, and Tappan Zee high schools; Tech Valley High School in Albany; Wappinger's Junior High School; the Harbor School on Governors Island; and Krieger Elementary School in Poughkeepsie. The event has sparked additional "Day in the Life" events on waterways throughout New York State.

"Day in the Life" is sponsored by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program, in partnership with the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Columbia Climate School Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Media interested in scheduling a visit to a site can contact the DEC Press Office at 518-402-8000 or A list of six participating schools, partners, and event locations is below.

  • Manhattan: Swindlers Cove, 3703 Harlem River Drive, New York, NY 10034: Dos Puentes Elementary School, 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (DEC)
  • Rockland: Piermont Pier, Ferry Rd., Piermont, NY 10968: Clarkstown High School North, Tappan Zee High School, and Pearl River High School, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory)
  • Dutchess County: Norrie Point Environmental Education Center, Margaret Norrie State Park, Staatsburg, NY 12580: Poughkeepsie High School, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (DEC)
  • Dutchess County: Quiet Cove, 1 Clear Water Dr., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601: Krieger Elementary School and Dutchess No Child Left Inside, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (DEC, Dutchess County Cornell Cooperative Extension)
  • Capital Region: Hudson Shores Park, 2 Selke Dr., Watervliet, NY 12189: North Colonie Central School, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (DEC Five Rivers, New Baltimore Conservancy)
  • Capital Region: Corning Preserve Boat Launch, Colonie and Water streets, Albany, NY 12207: RiverRun Montessori School, 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (DEC)
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