The Oneida Lake and Watershed Management Plan

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Rotating Intensive Basin Studies (RIBS)

Surface water quality is routinely monitored for large drainage areas in New York State through the NYS DEC Division of Water's Statewide Waters Monitoring Program (SWMP). The SWMP initiates monitoring studies in two or three major drainage areas in New York State each year, resulting in coverage of the entire state over a five-year period. Under SWMP, the Oswego-Seneca-Oneida Rivers Basin was scheduled for water quality planning and issue identification in 2001, monitoring and data collection in 2002, evaluation and water quality assessment in 2003, and development and implementation of corrective management strategies for years 2004 and 2005. Components of the Statewide Waters Monitoring Program include the Rotating Intensive Basin Studies (RIBS), Lake Classification and Inventory, Stream Biomonitoring, Sediment Assessment, Toxicity Testing, and Regulatory Sampling Programs.

Since 1987, NYS DEC surface water monitoring has been conducted under the Rotating Intensive Basin Studies Sampling Program. The objectives of RIBS include intensive overall assessment of water quality, long-term trends analysis of water quality, multimedia (chemical and biological) sampling, characterization of background conditions, and the establishment of baseline conditions for other site-specific water quality investigations. The water quality data and assessments generated by the RIBS Sampling Program are used to support various water quality management functions within the NYS DEC Division of Water. Specifically, RIBS information is used in compiling the Priority Waterbodies List (PWL), writing the New York State 305(b) Water Quality Report, selecting locations for intensive toxics surveys and other special water quality monitoring projects, and developing water quality based State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit limits.

The NYS DEC Division of Water's April 1999 report titled, The Oswego-Seneca-Oneida Rivers Basin Report 1995-1996, Rotating Intensive Basin Studies Water Quality Assessment Program, summarizes the findings of the 1995-1996 RIBS ambient surface water monitoring program on the waters of the Oswego-Seneca-Oneida Rivers Drainage Basin. The report also outlines other water quality information included in the PWL for the drainage basin.

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For more information on the Oneida Lake Watershed Management Plan activities e-mail the Central New York Regional Planning Board.

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