About the Program

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) is a joint effort between Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty, the Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, and the New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion. The three agen­cies work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly to main­tain the health of streams in the Ashokan Reser­voir Water­shed. The pro­gram aims to improve stream sta­bil­i­ty and reduce ero­sion threats to water qual­i­ty and infra­struc­ture, mit­i­gate poten­tial dam­age from flood­ing, and enhance aquat­ic and ripar­i­an habi­tat. AWSMP works to edu­cate and inform the com­mu­ni­ty about stream stew­ard­ship best man­age­ment prac­tices and coor­di­nates stream man­age­ment activ­i­ties in the water­shed. Stream man­age­ment plans — com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tions of stream char­ac­ter­is­tics with rec­om­men­da­tions and strate­gies for improve­ment — pro­vide the basis for the program’s activities.

Program History

In 1997, the New York City Mem­o­ran­dum of Agree­ment (MOA) was reached between New York State, New York City, the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, water­shed com­mu­ni­ties and coun­ties, and sev­er­al non-prof­it envi­ron­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions. The MOA estab­lished pro­grams to main­tain and enhance water qual­i­ty for New York State res­i­dents, while at the same time pro­tect­ing the eco­nom­ic vital­i­ty and char­ac­ter of the Catskills region. In accor­dance with the MOA, New York City estab­lished a Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram with­in its Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion (DEP) to work with stream­side landown­ers and oth­er stake­hold­ers to devise effec­tive strate­gies and stream man­age­ment prac­tices in the Catskill and Delaware Watersheds.

Efforts in the Ashokan Water­shed began with devel­op­ment of the Broad­street Hol­low Stream Man­age­ment Plan com­plet­ed in 2003, and con­tin­ued with devel­op­ment of the Stony Clove Creek Stream Man­age­ment Plan in 2004 and the Upper Eso­pus Creek Stream Man­age­ment Plan in 2007. From 2008 through 2017, the AWSMP com­plet­ed stream assess­ments for Wood­land Creek, Beaver Kill, Warn­er Creek, Birch Creek, Bushkill, Bush­nellsville Creek, and Lit­tle Beaver Kill. The Stony Clove Creek and Wood­land Creek were reassessed.

Program Funding

The New York City DEP is the pri­ma­ry fun­der of the AWSMP through con­tracts with Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty (CCE) and with the Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (SWCD).

DEP pro­vides fund­ing for basin-spe­cif­ic stream man­age­ment pro­grams as part of the 1997 MOA that exempt­ed New York City from build­ing a fil­tra­tion plant for the Catskill-Delaware Water Sup­ply Sys­tem. Since 1997, the USEPA and the NYS Depart­ment of Health have reviewed and issued New York City a Fil­tra­tion Avoid­ance Deter­mi­na­tion (FAD) on a five-year basis; the cur­rent FAD is for a ten-year peri­od (2017–2027). Since 1997, NYC has com­mit­ted over $20 mil­lion to stream man­age­ment plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion in the Ashokan Reser­voir Watershed.

Who We Serve

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram serves the res­i­dents and munic­i­pal­i­ties of the Ashokan Water­shed. The Ashokan Water­shed over­laps with the Ulster Coun­ty towns of Shan­dak­en, Olive, Wood­stock, and Hur­ley; and the Greene Coun­ty towns of Lex­ing­ton and Hunter. Most of our pro­grams are restrict­ed to por­tions of these towns with­in the water­shed bound­ary. We work pri­mar­i­ly with the fol­low­ing con­stituen­cies: local gov­ern­ments, stream­side landown­ers, com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions, con­trac­tors and water­shed pro­fes­sion­als, and oth­er non-prof­it groups and gov­ern­ment agen­cies. Please see our Pro­gram Brochure for more details on how we sup­port these constituencies.