Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper strives to improve water quality in Western New York in many ways.
From restoring shorelines to limiting plastic pollution there is much to be done. We engage volunteers interested in monitoring local water quality through our Riverwatch Program. Use this page to explore local water quality data and ongoing water quality issues.
Water Quality Maps & Tools
Riverwatch volunteers collect baseline water quality data each year at sites throughout the Niagara River Watershed. Explore the data collected, as well as locations of Combined Sewer Outfalls and more on the map below. Click ‘Show map details’ for symbol descriptions. Use the + and – symbols in the bottom right corner of the map to zoom in and out. Click on a symbol for more information.
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper works with Swim Guide to deliver free water quality information for waterways in Western New York. Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Staff and volunteers collect water samples in Western New York and analyze for E. coli. Sample sites are either popular for water recreation or near combined sewer outfalls. Samples will be processed in house using Coliscan Easygel. Results are typically available after 48 hours. Results are compared to the US EPA Beach Action Value of 235 E. coli / 100 mL for a single sample.
Swim Guide helps you easily find your closest beaches and know at a glance which ones are safe for swimming. Swim Guide delivers free real-time water quality information for over 7,000 beaches, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes around the world.
The Lake Erie Volunteer Science Network is a regional community of practice that unites and empowers community members to collect, share, and engage with water quality data for the conservation and enrichment of our Great Lakes and all who call it home. Explore data sets and compare two different sites from the Lake Erie Basin using the web widget below.
Nurdles are small plastic pellets, about the size of a lentil, used in plastics manufacturing. This plastic pollution has been found on the shorelines of several waterways within the Niagara River Watershed. Nurdle Patrol Volunteers help us find and map the location of these nurdles to be included in a Nationwide Nurdle Patrol Project.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB)
A Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) contains organisms that can produce toxins. Most algae are harmless and are components of an aquatic ecosystem. HABs are likely to occur in slow moving water with excess nutrients. HABs are harmful to people and animals.