Our watershed needs your help. Join us at the Sparkill Creek. Be a Citizen Scientist. Learn to test and monitor water quality. Plant trees, educate others, and meet like-minded community members interested in preserving our creek.

The Sparkill Creek Watershed is nature’s address of where we live and work. The Sparkill Creek Watershed is one of many watersheds that flow into the Hudson River. It is plagued by the creek’s high level of bacteria, which was discovered several years ago by the Riverkeeper Organization. We know that poor water quality can be the result of residential, commercial, and industrial usage, including the two sewage treatment facilities in the area. But we still don’t understand what the source is for the high levels of bacteria. That’s why we formed our Alliance and became self-appointed stewards of the Sparkill Creek. With the help of the Hudson River Estuary Program at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), we were trained in proper scientific methods (by the EPA) to monitor our waters. We have learned how to work for a healthy watershed by partnering with Riverkeeper’s stream monitoring program and with the DEC’s Trees for Tribs stream bank restoration plantings. Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance members are active participants in streamside clean-up programs, and volunteers for watershed eel and amphibian monitoring. Learn more about the contamination of our creek by reading the Water Report Card here.

VIDEO: Water Sampling on the Sparkill Creek

Laurie Seeman explains the formation of the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance. Community scientists have expanded Riverkeeper’s water quality sampling program beyond our own sampling patrol along the Hudson River and through 211 miles of Hudson Valley streams. Watch the video. 

Do you live along the Sparkill Creek? 

We are especially interested in connecting with our Creekside Neighbors.  We are developing special programs that would benefit from your participation based on your proximity to the Creek. Please join us at our monthly meetings.

OUR ORIGIN STORY: Listening to the Children

The story of the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance begins in July of 2010, when our founder, Laurie Seeman, was exploring  the Sparkill Creek near Greenbush Road in Orangetown with a young Strawtown Arts summer student who declared: “This water smells bad!” and she added: “You need to tell the adults."...

GALLERY: Enjoy Creekside Wildlife Photo Album

Sparkill Creek provides habitats for flora, animals, birds and a variety of freshwater fish.  The wild life includes common snapping turtles; bird species include heron, mallard ducks, American black duck, gadwall, wood duck, marsh wren, American woodcock, red-winged blackbird, and swamp sparrow. 


The advocacy we do is for the kids: it’s our responsibility to the next generations.
— Laurie Seeman, Founder

Sparkill Creek Facts

A tributary of the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York and Bergen County, New Jersey

Eight miles long, approximately an area of twelve square miles

Flows through six NY hamlets/villages - Blauvelt, Orangeburg, Tappan, Palisades, Sparkill, Piermont and one NJ borough Northvale

Begins on Clausland Mountain and flows into Hudson River at Piermont Marsh - a Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

 The watershed is 47% urban, 45% forested and 8% wetlands