Posts Tagged ‘Ashokan Watershed Month 2019’

Thank You for Helping us Celebrate Ashokan Watershed Month

Posted on: October 3rd, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
AWSMP staff kayak on the lake of Kenneth Wilson Campground and a section of the Little Beaver Kill during Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

AWSMP staff kayak on the lake of Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground and a sec­tion of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill dur­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram would like to thank every­one for par­tic­i­pat­ing in our inau­gural Ashokan Water­shed Month. Ear­lier this year, AWSMP staff devel­oped a series of ambi­tious and cre­ative pro­grams that we hoped would be of inter­est to a wide cross-section of the peo­ple who visit, live, and work in the Ashokan Reser­voir Water­shed. Now that it’s all over we believe that it was a resound­ing success!

Will Lytle reads from his new AWSMP funded children's book "Little One and the Water" at the Golden Notebook in Woodstock during Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

Will Lytle reads from his new AWSMP funded children’s book “Lit­tle One and the Water” at the Golden Note­book in Wood­stock dur­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

 

The pro­grams that were offered included:

  • An En Plein Air Stream­side Paint­ing class where par­tic­i­pants learned how to use water col­ors to paint a stream scene while learn­ing about the stream fea­tures they were painting.
  • The NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on Under­stand­ing Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions and explained how they are going to upgrade their infra­struc­ture in the com­ing years.
  • AWSMP part­nered with Rail Explor­ers to host a Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus where par­tic­i­pants got to see the Eso­pus Creek from a wholly dif­fer­ent perspective.
  • At Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground we hosted a Water­shed Pad­dle where par­tic­i­pants got to learn about streams while float­ing on the water itself.
  • AWSMP hosted Dr. Dorothy Peteet of Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity and NASA who gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on Pale­o­cli­mate of the Catskills.
  • Both the United States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS) and the Ashokan-Pepacton Chap­ter of Trout Unlim­ited gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on the fish­eries of the Eso­pus Creek and the his­tory of fly fish­ing the area, respectively.
  • Ulster County and NYC DEP gave par­tic­i­pants a sneak peek of the Ashokan Reser­voir Rail Trail and a new appre­ci­a­tion for wet­lands dur­ing our Impor­tance of Water­shed Wet­lands walk.
  • AWSMP had not one, but two Book Sign­ings and Read­ings of “Lit­tle One and the Water,” an envi­ron­men­tally themed children’s book funded by AWSMP.
  • Finally, we rounded out the month with a Ripar­ian Buffer Plant­ing on the Beaver Kill in the Town of Wood­stock where vol­un­teers helped reveg­e­tate a stream project site and fol­lowed it up with a Clos­ing Party at the Phoeni­cia Diner.

 

A scene from "The Importance of Watershed Wetlands" walk and talk from Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

A scene from “The Impor­tance of Water­shed Wet­lands” walk and talk from Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

 

While we may be done with Water­shed Month pro­gram­ming you can still take part in the Ashokan Water­shed Adven­ture, a self-guided tour of impor­tant sites through­out the water­shed. Book­lets with infor­ma­tion about each of the sites are avail­able at our office or can be down­loaded. Those who do the adven­ture can still pick-up their prizes while they last.

Once again, thank you all for help­ing us cel­e­brate what makes our water­shed so unique. Be sure to check our web­site and social media accounts often to see future pro­gram­ming and hap­pen­ings from AWSMP!

 

Volunteers and AWSMP help plant native riparian vegetation on the site of stream restoration project along Mink Hollow during Ashokan Watershed Month 2019.

Vol­un­teers and AWSMP help plant native ripar­ian veg­e­ta­tion on the site of a stream restora­tion project along Mink Hol­low Rd. dur­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month 2019.

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Help AWSMP plant a Riparian Buffer then join us for a Party!

Posted on: September 25th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Help AWSMP plant a riparian buffer this weekend and join us for the Ashokan Watershed Month Closing Party!

Help AWSMP plant a ripar­ian buffer this week­end and join us for the Ashokan Water­shed Month Clos­ing Party!

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) hopes you had great time cel­e­brat­ing Ashokan Water­shed Month with us. Now we need your help with our last pro­gram to close out the celebrations!

Join us this Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 28, and help us plant a ripar­ian buffer at the site of a stream restora­tion project in the Town of Wood­stock. Meet us at the inter­sec­tion of Mink Hol­low Road and Van Hoagland Road near Lake Hill, NY at 10:00am. AWSMP staff will direct you where to park. From 10:00am to approx­i­mately 2:00pm we will be plant­ing native ripar­ian plants along a stream­bank. Water and some light refresh­ments will be on hand.

After the plant­ing is over we hope that you can join us at the Phoeni­cia Diner, located at 5681 State Route 28 in Phoeni­cia for a Clos­ing Party. We will be located out­side in the Phoenica Diner’s “Lot.” Par­tic­i­pants will be given a voucher to help pay for food from the Phoeni­cia Diner’s Airstream Food Truck. The Clos­ing Party will be approx­i­mately one hour in length.

Par­tic­i­pants in the plant­ing will also receive an Ashokan Water­shed Month reusable tote bag. Any­one is wel­come to par­tic­i­pate in the Plant­ing and Clos­ing Party but reg­is­tra­tion is required. We look for­ward to see­ing you on Sat­ur­day to get your hands dirty help­ing the envi­ron­ment and to cel­e­brate the end of Ashokan Water­shed Month!

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Watershed Residents Rode the Rails with AWSMP and Rail Explorers

Posted on: September 13th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
One of the many happy families participating the "Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus" program. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

One of the many happy fam­i­lies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” pro­gram. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

 

Ashokan Water­shed res­i­dents had the oppor­tu­nity to expe­ri­ence the Eso­pus Creek like few oth­ers have before. On Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 12, par­tic­i­pants came out to the Rail Explor­ers Catskill Divi­sion in Phoeni­cia to have the unique expe­ri­ence of rid­ing a Rail Explor­ers rail car and also learn about the Eso­pus Creek. After some open­ing remarks from AWSMP and a safety talk from Rail Explor­ers, par­tic­i­pants set out on the 8-mile round trip tour on rail­road tracks that mostly par­al­lel the Eso­pus Creek. Dur­ing a reg­u­lar Rail Explor­ers tour, par­tic­i­pants make only one stop to turn the cars around for the return jour­ney. AWSMP worked with Rail Explor­ers to find two addi­tional stops so edu­ca­tors could talk about stream man­age­ment topics.

Participants in the "Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus" listen to Aaron Bennett of the Ulster County Department of the Environment talk about flood mitigation actions occurring near the Route 28 Bridge (in background) in Mount Tremper. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

Par­tic­i­pants in the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” lis­ten to Aaron Ben­nett of the Ulster County Depart­ment of the Envi­ron­ment talk about flood mit­i­ga­tion actions occur­ring near the Route 28 Bridge (in back­ground) in Mount Trem­per. Photo by Chet Karwatowski

 

The first stop was roughly across the the Route 28 Bridge in Mount Trem­per where Aaron Ben­nett of the Ulster County Depart­ment of the Envi­ron­ment spoke about the flood mit­i­ga­tion activ­i­ties going on there. He explained about how the NYS Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (NYSDOT) is work­ing with the the Town of Shan­daken to help make that area less sus­cep­ti­ble to flood­ing. NYSDOT is replac­ing the Mount Trem­per Bridge with a larger and wider span that will lower flood ele­va­tions in the area. To do this they are work­ing with the Town of Shan­daken and the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) to acquire prop­er­ties in that area so this project can be com­pleted. The bridge is expected to be replaced begin­ning next year and be com­pleted in 2021. The new bridge will be con­structed imme­di­ately down­stream of the old one so no detour will be nec­es­sary dur­ing construction.

Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District talks about stream assessment protocols during the "Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus" program.

Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict talks about stream assess­ment dur­ing the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” program.

 

At the turn­around loca­tion, Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict spoke about the stream assess­ment work that AWSMP does. He explained how AWSMP tech­ni­cians walk a stream and col­lect data and how that data is used to make man­age­ment rec­om­men­da­tions. He also talked about the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI) pro­gram and how qual­i­fy­ing landown­ers can access free native ripar­ian plants to reveg­e­tate their stream­banks. Adam described stud­ies and restora­tion projects done in the Stony Clove Creek (a trib­u­tary to the Eso­pus Creek) to improve stream sta­bil­ity and water quality.

Adam Doan Presents along Esopus Creek

Adam Doan of the Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict talks about ero­sion, road-stream cross­ings, and the washout of the rail tracks dur­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Irene dur­ing the “Rail Pedal Along the Eso­pus” program.

 

On the return leg of the trip, both Adam and Aaron talked about the washout of the train tracks that occurred near the Phoeni­cia Plaza on Route 28 and the process of ero­sion. They explained the impor­tance of good road-stream cross­ings and how AWSMP tech­ni­cians have assessed pub­lic cross­ings in the water­shed. They also men­tioned the impor­tance of wood in the flood­plain and the habi­tat and sta­bil­ity that it pro­vides to the stream.

Finally, at the end of the trip, par­tic­i­pants were invited to a short recep­tion at the nearby Empire State Rail­way Museum where each par­tic­i­pant received a reusable tote bag and addi­tional edu­ca­tional material.

This pro­gram was a part of Ashokan Water­shed Month which con­tin­ues through­out the month of Sep­tem­ber. Upcom­ing pro­grams include a “Water­shed Pad­dle” at Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground and a Book Sign­ing and Read­ing in Wood­stock. Please visit out Ashokan Water­shed Month web­page for addi­tional infor­ma­tion about this and other upcom­ing events.

Sunset over Esopus Creek

A sun­set over the Eso­pus dur­ing the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus” program.

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Ashokan Watershed Residents Learn about Watershed Infrastructure

Posted on: September 10th, 2019 by Brent Gotsch
Adam Bosch, Director of Public Affairs for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, gives a presentation on NYC watershed infrastructure during the "Understanding Ashokan Reservoir Operations" program.

Adam Bosch, Direc­tor of Pub­lic Affairs for the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, gives a pre­sen­ta­tion on NYC water­shed infra­struc­ture dur­ing the “Under­stand­ing Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions” program.

 

Did you know the largest pub­lic works project in the Catskills in more than 50 years is being planned? Atten­dees learned this and more about how water makes the 92-mile jour­ney from upstate New York to New York City dur­ing the “Under­stand­ing Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions” pro­gram hosted by AWSMP on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 9. That evening, NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (NYC DEP) Direc­tor of Pub­lic Affairs Adam Bosch gave a detailed pre­sen­ta­tion on the his­tory of NYC’s water­shed, cur­rent oper­a­tions, and the future plans that NYC DEP has to upgrade that infrastructure.

He started off with a his­tor­i­cal overview of NYC’s water sup­ply, from the ear­li­est wells that the city used, to the engi­neer­ing mar­vels that are the Catskill and Delaware Sys­tems. He went on to describe the impor­tant work done by hun­dreds of NYC DEP employ­ees that work to ensure that clean water is deliv­ered to NYC res­i­dents. These include sci­en­tists that ana­lyze thou­sands of water sam­ples each year to ensure there are no harm­ful pathogens in the water, police forces that pro­tect the water sup­ply, main­te­nance crews that ensure the infra­struc­ture is in good work­ing order, engi­neers who design new infra­struc­ture projects, and other efforts.

Of par­tic­u­lar note, he talked about how NYC DEP plans to reha­bil­i­tate the Catskill Aque­duct, which extends about 74 miles from the Ashokan Reser­voir to the Ken­sico Reser­voir in Westch­ester County. His­tor­i­cally, this aque­duct has had a capac­ity of 660 mil­lion gal­lons of water a day but has been reduced to approx­i­mately 590 mil­lion gal­lons a day due to a buildup of biofilms. Biofilms are harm­less bac­te­ria that have fil­a­ments that feed off of the nat­u­rally occur­ring iron and man­ganese in the water. Their growth has cre­ated fric­tion in the aque­duct that slows the flow of water. Between 2019 and 2020, NYC is plan­ning on peri­od­i­cally shut­ting down the aque­duct and send­ing crews down to remove the biofilm.

He ended his pre­sen­ta­tion by talk­ing about the Ashokan Cen­tury Pro­gram. This will be an approx­i­mately 10-year, $1 bil­lion project to begin in 2023. It will be the largest pub­lic works project in the Catskills in more than 50 years. It will include upgrades in and around the Ashokan Reser­voir includ­ing the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the Olive­bridge dam and dikes, the spill­way, divid­ing weir bridge, intake cham­bers, and J. Waldo Smith Monument.

Any­one inter­ested in the pre­sen­ta­tion can view it by click­ing this link.

This pro­gram was part of Ashokan Water­shed Month, which is a series of pro­grams run­ning through­out the month of Sep­tem­ber. Our next pro­gram, the “Sun­set Rail Pedal along the Eso­pus,” will be this Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 12. Other upcom­ing pro­grams include a “Water­shed Pad­dle” on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 14 as well as a “Book Sign­ing and Read­ing” also on Sep­tem­ber 14. Please visit our web­page devoted to Ashokan Water­shed Month for more infor­ma­tion on these and other upcom­ing pro­grams for the month.

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