Have you ever been to your local beach or waterway to go swimming, boating, or fishing and wondered what the water quality is like there? For the first time, there is now a Water Quality app that can be downloaded for free that allows the user to find out the water quality of all Long Island beaches and waterways. It is believed to be the world’s first all-in-one water quality app. The app shows the open/closed status of every bay, harbor, estuary, and river on Long Island, and the overall water quality and history of water quality for those waterways, including algae levels, bacteria levels, water clarity, dissolved oxygen levels, and levels of algal bloom. It then displays that data as good, fair, or poor. The app also shows the open and closed status of shellfishing areas.

Instructions for downloading the free app can be found at www.somas.stonybrook.edu/longislandbeaches/. ArcGIS Appstudio Player must be downloaded (from Google Play, Apple App Store, or the Microsoft Store), and then a QR code on the mentioned website is to be scanned. The app is called LIBAWQA, short for Long Island Beach and Water Quality App.

The app was developed by scientists at Stony Brook University for the benefit of the public. The app collects up-to-date information from several public databases and allows it to be filtered on one easy to use site, using your GPS to center your location on the Long Island map. In total, the app includes data from more than 500,000 acres of bays, harbors, and estuaries, and more than 200 beaches.

From parents taking their kids for a swim to people intending to take their boat out and go shellfishing, the app is an invaluable tool to make the most of your local waterways and avoid locations where unfavorable conditions occur. Future versions will be released and are expected to include photos and further reports.

As professionals in the field of environmental engineering and as avid water users, Walden staff have a vested interest in all new regulations and developments in this field. Having an app that displays this data in one location is recognized as an incredibly helpful tool for the public to get the most out of the water surrounding Long Island. If you have any queries on Water Quality or are interested in Grants that can be applied for to study water quality, please call Walden on 516-624-7200 and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff.