Posts Tagged ‘Ashokan Watershed’

AWSMP Tries Out the W.A.V.E.

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Samantha Kahl

The impor­tance of water qual­ity has always been a top pri­or­ity for water­shed res­i­dents and the stream man­age­ment pro­gram as it works with com­mu­ni­ties to man­age streams. So how do we mea­sure the effects of stream man­age­ment on water qual­ity? One method is macroin­ver­te­brate sam­pling. Macroin­ver­te­brates are insects present within our streams that are vis­i­ble to the naked eye: Stone­flies, Mayflies, and Cad­dis­flies, just to name a few!

Recently, AWSMP staff mem­bers Saman­tha Kahl with Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster County, and Alli­son Lent, Stream Assess­ment Coor­di­na­tor, and Tiffany Runge, Water­shed Tech­ni­cian with Ulster County Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (SWCD) got out­side to mon­i­tor aquatic insects and do the WAVE! Actu­ally, it’s W.A.V.E. — Water Assess­ments by Vol­un­teer Eval­u­a­tors. This pro­gram is run by the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC). Vol­un­teers are trained to take macroin­ver­te­brate sam­ples from streams for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion at the DEC office. This prac­tice helps deter­mine stream seg­ments that are poten­tially impaired (e.g. pol­luted or dis­turbed). Macroin­ver­te­brates are sen­si­tive to water qual­ity, so if pollution-tolerant species are present and oth­ers are not, we may have an impaired stream seg­ment that needs fur­ther mon­i­tor­ing. If a vari­ety of sen­si­tive species are abun­dant, it’s usu­ally a good indi­ca­tor for high water quality.

Case-making Caddisfly larva found attached to a rock in a segment of Woodland Creek.

Case-making Cad­dis­fly larva found attached to a rock in a seg­ment of Wood­land Val­ley Creek.

Our pur­pose of going into the field was to get a sense of the water qual­ity at a poten­tial Wood­land Val­ley Creek restora­tion site. Know­ing the water con­di­tions prior to restora­tion pro­vides a bet­ter sense of how restora­tion efforts affect the stream, allow­ing project man­agers to mit­i­gate future restora­tion projects if need be. Our pur­pose also included test­ing out W.A.V.E. pro­gram sam­pling meth­ods. The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram is inter­ested in start­ing a W.A.V.E. pro­gram for local com­mu­ni­ties to take part in. Feel free to fill out this short sur­vey regard­ing your avail­abil­ity for a poten­tial W.A.V.E. pro­gram start-up; any feed­back is appre­ci­ated! And don’t for­get to check back soon for more event and vol­un­teer infor­ma­tion at our web­site.

Tiffany Runge, Watershed Technician (left), and Allison Lent, Stream Assessment Coordinator (right), of the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District sorting through leaf litter for macroinvertebrate sampling on the banks of Woodland Creek.

Ulster County SWCD’s Tiffany Runge (left) and Alli­son Lent (right) sort through leaf lit­ter look­ing for macroin­ver­te­brates on the banks of Wood­land Val­ley Creek.

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Out With The Invasive, In With The Native

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

On Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 10th the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter (CIC) held a vol­un­teer inva­sive pull event on their prop­erty. The area is to be pre­pared for a Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project lead by the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI). The CIC received fund­ing from the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) and CSBI to remove the inva­sive species, replace them with native trees and shrubs, and cre­ate edu­ca­tional mate­r­ial to inform the com­mu­nity on the impor­tance of stream­side buffers.

Bobby Tay­lor, CSBI Coor­di­na­tor, teach­ing the vol­un­teers how to iden­tify com­mon ripar­ian inva­sive plant species.

Our day started off with a short pre-event rain storm that helped to cool off the pre­vi­ous mug­gi­ness of the day. Once all of the vol­un­teers gath­ered, CSBI coor­di­na­tor Bobby Tay­lor held an edu­ca­tional talk about inva­sive species’ role in the envi­ron­ment and dif­fer­ent impor­tant man­age­ment options. We were pleased to learn just how much our par­tic­i­pants already know about inva­sives and how pas­sion­ate they are about lim­it­ing inva­sive species spread and man­ag­ing them on their own prop­er­ties. Our con­ver­sa­tions touched on just how eas­ily inva­sive species out­com­pete native species and decrease bio­di­ver­sity and how they can dras­ti­cally affect native organ­isms that rely on native habi­tat. It is always inspir­ing to inter­act with com­mu­nity mem­bers who are deal­ing with and care about the same issues we are tackling.

With shov­els, pick­axes, uproot­ers, bugspray, and sheer deter­mi­na­tion in hand, the vol­un­teers set out with one mis­sion; to get those pesky plants out! And boy did that deter­mi­na­tion go a long way! We were utterly blown away at how great of a team the vol­un­teers made and how much mate­r­ial we were able to clear. As our day wound down we had a lovely pic­nic lunch, pro­vided by the CIC, and got to sit down with the vol­un­teers and get to know them a bit. Our pro­duc­tive day ended with good food and great company!

Vol­un­teers iden­tify and pull inva­sive species at the Ripar­ian Buffer Demon­stra­tion project site at the CIC.

At the root of the pull project and the impend­ing ripar­ian restora­tion in the fall, is the impor­tance of stream buffers to water qual­ity, habi­tat, and flood­plain sta­bil­ity.  A small ephemeral stream, one that has flow­ing water dur­ing and fol­low­ing a rain fall or snow melt event, runs through the back of the CIC prop­erty; adja­cent to the stream is the spe­cial zone called the flood­plain. These flood­plains are highly sus­cep­ti­ble to inva­sive species because seeds and frag­ments of plant mate­r­ial can so eas­ily be car­ried by flow­ing water and deposited downstream.

This issue is far from only being a stream­side prob­lem. Many peo­ple, groups, and even gov­ern­ment agen­cies deal with inva­sive species man­age­ment on a daily basis. It takes all mem­bers of a com­mu­nity to really stop the inva­sion and elim­i­nate the future intro­duc­tion of non­na­tive and inva­sive species. Our amaz­ing group of vol­un­teers was not only hard­work­ing, but also enthu­si­as­tic about envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, con­tin­u­ing their own fight against inva­sives on their prop­er­ties, and help­ing to edu­cate oth­ers to do the same.

CSBI, AWSMP,the CIC, and the NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion wants to thank all those who par­tic­i­pated and made our Inva­sive Pull Event a suc­cess on all levels!

If you would like to learn more about inva­sive species, what you can do, or about the sup­port avail­able to stream­side landown­ers please visit the CSBI web­site at http://catskillstreams.org/ or con­tact CSBI Coor­di­na­tor Bobby Tay­lor at bobby.taylor@ashokanstreams.org. If you would like to learn more about the Ashokan Water­shed please visit AWSMP’s web­site at ashokanstreams.org or con­tact us at 845 688 3047.

 

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