NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Healey Administration announced funding to several non-profit organizations to help monitor water quality in the Connecticut River for E.coli and nitrogen.

The grant program, administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will support waterbody monitoring efforts in eastern Massachusetts, the Connecticut River Valley, Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod, and the Berkshires.

The Connecticut River Conservancy along with the Deerfield River Watershed Association, the Fort River Watershed Association, and the Chicopee4Rivers Watershed Council received $66,500 to purchase equipment and supplies, and support travel and staff salaries to monitor for E. coli and nitrogen.

“Paying for some of the time it takes to coordinate that program and also the supplies needed to test for the bacteria and the other big thing that it’s allowing us to a purchase a very large piece of equipment, that will now allow our lab to test for Nitrogen,” said Ryan O’Donnell, Water Quality Program Manager.

The Housatonic Valley Association along with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, and the Hoosic River Watershed Association was awarded $48,605 to purchase equipment and supplies and to support staff time and subcontractor work to monitor for temperature, conductivity, E. coli, dissolved oxygen, total nitrogen, and chlorine in the Housatonic and Hoosic River watersheds.

The Deerfield River Watershed Chapter of Trout Unlimited was awarded $26,007 to purchase equipment to monitor for pH, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, temperature, turbidity, nutrients, and flow for tributaries to the Deerfield River.

“Our constituents and communities deserve clean water,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox). “I’m grateful for MassDEP’s continued commitment to helping organizations in the 3rd Berkshire District collect the information they need to maintain a high standard of water quality and look forward to seeing the continued partnership of The Housatonic Valley Association, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, and the Hoosic River Watershed Association.”

“Some of the most direct impacts of climate change can be observed in Massachusetts waterways,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “The Healey-Driscoll Administration has prioritized investing in scientific partnerships to ensure we have the robust data we need to protect our critical water resources.”

“MassDEP has long partnered with regional watershed coalitions and non-profit organizations to maintain the most current assessment of the state of Massachusetts waterbodies,” said MassDEP Commissioner Bonnie Heiple. “This collaboration positions the Commonwealth to continue to be a leader in watershed management as we face a changing climate. I applaud the work of these essential stakeholders and the work of our staff to provide these important investments.”

For more information on MassDEP’s water quality monitoring and assessment programs, please visit the agency’s Watershed Planning Program webpage.