Post-Irene Turbidity off Long Island, Cape Cod – Major Runoff Expected

This MODIS/Terra satellite image taken about two hours ago shows beautiful patterns of post-Irene turbidity (mostly suspended sand) in the waters off Long Island and Cape Cod:

Detail from MODIS/Terra satellite image taken on August 29, 2011.

But the brown plume in Raritan Bay just above the right corner of our logo shows sediment coming from runoff into the Raritan River. The Hudson River north of Manhattan is bright orange-brown, also full of sediment and other surface runoff that hasn’t quite made it to the coast yet.  This runoff can be pretty nasty stuff, laced with untreated sewage, agricultural chemicals, oil and other miscellaneous gunk.

We expect to see major plumes of runoff in the coastal waters up and down the eastern seaboard this week as the torrential rain dumped by Irene works its way to the ocean.