In October 2018, the Bronx River Alliance (BxRA) provided Professor Sula with some data for his Information Visualization class. The two datasets included one that showed how much trash was picked out of the Bronx River by BxRA volunteers and another that showed the prevalence of fecal bacteria (Enterococci) that had ended up in the river.
In the trash dataset, the group identified styrofoam as the main type of trash found in the river, that Westchester County was the main source of 95% of the trash in the Bronx River, and that most trash was collected from the Muskrat Cove boom. In the analysis of the Enterococci – or fecal bacteria – dataset, the group found that flooding from rain was a major contributor to bacterial pollution in the Bronx River and analyzed how much the river surpassed EPA water quality standards. Overall, with the data that was given to them, the students were able to identify some definitive patterns that begin to answer BxRA’s questions, but a broader scope and timeframe would be needed to come to more exact conclusions.
To learn more about this project, visit http://studentwork.prattsi.org/infovis/projects/bronx-river-trash-collection-and-fecal-bacteria-analysis/.