Alissa Buck

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2018


This project was conducted on the Kensico and Hillview Reservoirs in the Greater New York City Area with HDR Inc., under contract with the New York Department of Environmental Protection. During this time, I was a wildlife technician for HDR on the Waterfowl Management Program, which deals with managing and preventing waterfowl from roosting among New York City reservoirs, which provide fresh drinking water to the city and it’s neighborhoods. This program seeks to manage and mitigate the effects of waterfowl throughout the New York City Water Supply, specifically on key reservoirs throughout the area that bring water from the Catskills in the north down to New York City where they provide a primary water source for millions of people every day. Crucial to safe and clean water, waterfowl must be kept out of the reservoir water and their densities must be recorded. Fecal coliforms from the waterfowl pose a threat to the quality of water that is fed to New York City, making this program important in terms of waterfowl control and human effects. My job within the project is to ensure that a low density of waterfowl that roost among the reservoir. I work daily on a 17-foot Maycraft vessel, from where myself and one other technician record bird sightings (waterfowl and protected species) and haze the waterfowl using pyrotechnics. During inclement weather, DEP vehicles are used to travel over land and hiking is occasionally required to oversee the reservoir and gain an accurate count and vantage point for hazing. Bird sightings and counts are recorded on a tablet, from where data is gathered and uploaded at the end of every day and sent to the DEP, who then use the data to generate reports. Because this project varies with the season, work hours change to accommodate for daylight savings. The shifts are all 8 hours in length, no matter the time of year. Overall, the function of this program is to promote clean drinking water for New York City, due to the fact that NYC water is unfiltered. This position also contributes to waterfowl and protected species research and monitoring, due to the detailed nature of recording sightings.


Department: MES

MPS Track: CZM

Location: New York City Waterfowl Management Program

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