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Municipal Officials’ Day, Wednesday, October 20

Posted on: October 18th, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker

Munic­i­pal offi­cials from the towns of Shan­dak­en, Olive, Wood­stock, Hur­ley, Lex­ing­ton and Hunter are invit­ed to attend a 2‑hour edu­ca­tion­al event in Phoeni­cia on Wednes­day, Octo­ber 20 from 3:00–5:00 pm. The top­ic will be man­ag­ing sed­i­ment in streams to reduce flood­ing and ero­sion. We’ll learn more about how streams trans­port sed­i­ment and how to man­age sed­i­ment when an inter­ven­tion is nec­es­sary. A cer­tifi­cate of com­ple­tion will be offered for Con­tin­u­ing Edu­ca­tion Credit.

The pro­gram starts at the Phoeni­cia Fire Hall on Route 214 where reg­is­tra­tion begins at 2:30 pm. We’ll spend a half hour indoors and then move out­doors to the Main Street Bridge where the Town of Shan­dak­en grap­pled with a mas­sive sed­i­ment accu­mu­la­tion and flood­ing in the 2010s. Sed­i­ment man­age­ment in the Eso­pus Creek was exam­ined again dur­ing a Local Flood Analy­sis for Phoeni­cia. Town offi­cials will dis­cuss flood mit­i­ga­tion steps they are tak­ing to improve con­di­tions in a ham­let that is large­ly in the 100-year floodplain. 

Reg­is­tra­tion is required. Covid-19 safe­ty pro­ce­dures will be in place for the indoor por­tion of event. To reg­is­ter, enter your con­tact infor­ma­tion here: https://tinyurl.com/2021-Municipal-Officials-Day.

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Family Fun and Fish Day Returns September 18th

Posted on: September 7th, 2021 by Brent Gotsch
Join AWSMP for Fam­i­ly Fun and Fish Day on Sep­tem­ber 18th

Fish­ing with the fam­i­ly is a great way to con­nect with each oth­er and expe­ri­ence the great out­doors! After being on hia­tus last year due to the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, we’re proud to say that we’re bring­ing this pop­u­lar and fam­i­ly-friend­ly event back this year, albeit in a small­er and more social­ly-dis­tanced way. The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) in coop­er­a­tion with Trout Unlim­it­ed and the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC) is host­ing “Fam­i­ly Fun and Fish Day” at Ken­neth Wil­son State Camp­ground at 859 Wit­ten­berg Road, Mount Trem­per, NY on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

DEC fish­eries staff and vol­un­teers with local Trout Unlim­it­ed chap­ters will intro­duce youth and oth­ers to the sport of fish­ing and pro­vide edu­ca­tion on fish iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and aquat­ic ecol­o­gy. Please let us know in advance if you have spe­cial needs relat­ed to the day’s activities.

Due to the ongo­ing pan­dem­ic we ask that all par­tic­i­pants not from the same house­hold main­tain at least six feet of dis­tance apart and to wear masks if this is not pos­si­ble. All forms must be filled out and received pri­or to the event. Par­tic­i­pants who fail to fill out the required forms, fail to adhere to Covid-19 safe­ty guide­lines, or fail to fol­low staff direc­tion will not be allowed to par­tic­i­pate in the program.

All fish­ing sup­plies will be pro­vid­ed, though you are wel­come and encour­aged to bring your own if you have them. No fish­ing license is required.

For the safe­ty of all of our pro­gram par­tic­i­pants we kind­ly ask that you leave your pets at home.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Brent Gotsch at 845–688-3047 ext. 103, or by email at bwg37@cornell.edu. DEC charges a $6 fee per car for admis­sion to the camp­ground — all oth­er activ­i­ties at Fam­i­ly Fun and Fish Day are free.

Reg­is­ter by Sep­tem­ber 15, 2021 in order to participate.

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Now Hiring for the AWSMP Office

Posted on: September 1st, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker

Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty is seek­ing an Admin­is­tra­tive Assis­tant II to work with the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) to pro­vide gen­er­al admin­is­tra­tive sup­port and over­see main­te­nance of the stream pro­gram office in Shokan, NY. A set work sched­ule will be estab­lished for reg­u­lar days worked with some flex­i­bil­i­ty. Occa­sion­al evening, week­end, and out­door work is required. 

This is a part-time, 24 hours per week, non-exempt, ben­e­fits eli­gi­ble posi­tion. Com­pen­sa­tion paid at the rate of $20.00 per hour. 

For details and to apply:

https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/CCECareerPage/job/New-York-State-Other/AWSMP-Administrative-Assistant—Shokan–NY_WDR-00027624

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. Individuals who bring a diverse perspective and are supportive of diversity are strongly encouraged to apply.
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Tropical Depression Ida May Bring Flash Flooding to Watershed

Posted on: August 31st, 2021 by Brent Gotsch
Trop­i­cal Depres­sion Ida expect­ed rain­fall totals. From Nation­al Hur­ri­cane Center.

The rem­nants of Trop­i­cal Depres­sion Ida will be pass­ing close to our region Wednes­day into Thurs­day. The Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice is pre­dict­ing that many loca­tions in the Tri-State area could receive 2–4 inch­es of rain. As a result, most of the region is under a flash flood advi­so­ry through Thurs­day after­noon. Although major flood­ing is not expect­ed for the Ashokan Water­shed it is still a good idea or be prepared.

Stay up-to-date on cur­rent weath­er infor­ma­tion by vis­it­ing NYS MESONET, a New York State spe­cif­ic weath­er fore­cast­ing site man­aged by the Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice and the State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York at Albany. Check cur­rent stream flow con­di­tions by vis­it­ing the NYS Page of the USGS Stream Gage Net­work. Check the Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice Riv­er Fore­cast web­page for area flood predictions. 

Always be pay atten­tion to direc­tives from local author­i­ties espe­cial­ly if they say to evac­u­ate. Be sure to check local Coun­ty and Town/Village web­pages and social media for updat­ed infor­ma­tion. Do not dri­ve through stand­ing water, espe­cial­ly in the evening or dur­ing low-light con­di­tions as it is often dif­fi­cult to deter­mine the depth of water on a road­way. The num­ber one cause of death from flood­ing is from peo­ple dri­ving through water that is too deep for their vehi­cles. FEMA has sev­er­al excel­lent resources for prepar­ing for many nat­ur­al dis­as­ters includ­ing flood­ing at its Ready.gov site. The New York Exten­sion Dis­as­ter Edu­ca­tion Net­work also has sev­er­al good resources available.

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Esopus Creek News Summer Edition Just Released

Posted on: August 26th, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker
Three young people standing in a small stream conducting a science activity
Look­ing for ways to learn more about streams and the water­shed this sum­mer? Check out the lat­est edi­tion of the Eso­pus Creek News!

The sum­mer 2021 edi­tion of the Eso­pus Creek News is now avail­able online and a print ver­sion will be deliv­ered to water­shed res­i­dents this week. Water­shed res­i­dents can sign up to receive a mail­ing of the newslet­ter by sub­mit­ting their name and address to info@ashokanstreams.org.

The sum­mer 2021 edi­tion pro­vides an update on what res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to Sil­ver Hol­low near Chich­ester can expect as two stream restora­tion projects advance on Warn­er Creek. We also have an impor­tant update from our flood mit­i­ga­tion staff on changes to FEMA’s method­ol­o­gy for rat­ing NFIP flood insur­ance poli­cies. The Get to Know Streams fea­ture in this edi­tion focus­es on the top­ic of “Why Stream Banks Erode.” Plus, we have ways to go out­side (or even if you’re stuck inside) to learn more about the Ashokan Reser­voir water­shed with ideas for the entire fam­i­ly. Final­ly, get up to date on plans for Ashokan Water­shed Month from Sep­tem­ber to Octo­ber with three sep­a­rate events planned for landown­ers, fam­i­lies and youth, and munic­i­pal offi­cials. And more infor­ma­tion on stream and flood­plain man­age­ment from around the water­shed. Check out the Eso­pus Creek News sum­mer edi­tion now!

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Tropical Storm Henri Brings Flooding to the Watershed

Posted on: August 23rd, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker

Res­i­dents of the Ashokan Water­shed should take cau­tion as minor flood­ing is occur­ring in the water­shed. The USGS gage on the Eso­pus Creek at Cold­brook has reached the ‘action stage’ at 9.33 feet as of 10:30 am on Mon­day, August 23. Flood stage is 11 feet. The Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice will issue an updat­ed riv­er fore­cast at noon today. The USGS stream gages on the Beaver Kill at Mt. Trem­per and the Bushkill at West Shokan show the rivers have exceed­ed bank­full flows and are spilling onto their floodplains. 

Res­i­dents are advised to not dri­ve through stand­ing water as the road­way under­neath may be dam­aged. Trop­i­cal Storm Hen­ri is now cen­tered over Ulster Coun­ty and will affect the region with con­tin­ued rain­fall and the chance of river­ine flood­ing through­out the day. Please remain vigilant!

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Tropical Storm Henri Approaches the NY Coast

Posted on: August 20th, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker

Atten­tion res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to the Catskills and Ashokan Reser­voir Watershed: 

The Nation­al Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter (NHC) is track­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Hen­ri as it approach­es the U.S. coast­line with pos­si­ble land­fall this Sun­day evening. Cur­rent­ly, Hen­ri is expect­ed to reach hur­ri­cane sta­tus before mak­ing land­fall near Long Island, NY. The pre­dict­ed storm track is cur­rent­ly east of the Catskills and Ashokan Reser­voir water­shed, but con­di­tions could change. Out­er bands of the storm could affect our region.

Track the storm path and mon­i­tor NOAA Nation­al Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter updates here: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Mon­i­tor the Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice fore­cast for your area at: https://www.weather.gov

Streams and rivers are run­ning slight­ly above aver­age val­ues for this time of year and soils are some­what sat­u­rat­ed, mean­ing pre­cip­i­ta­tion from Hen­ri could rapid­ly raise water lev­els in local waterbodies.

Now is the time to pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­i­ty of intense weath­er, includ­ing rain­fall and flood­ing in our region. For more infor­ma­tion on how to pre­pare for a flood and what to do dur­ing one please vis­it the Ready.gov web­site on flood­ing: https://www.ready.gov/floods

The Catskills high peaks region in north­west Ulster Coun­ty receives more than 60 inch­es of rain each year on aver­age — some of the high­est totals in New York State. Steep moun­tain val­leys fun­nel water and increase the chances of river­ine flooding.

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Stream Snorkeling Returns this Summer!

Posted on: June 23rd, 2021 by Brent Gotsch
Join AWSMP for stream snor­kel­ing this sum­mer on Fri­day July 9 or July 16.

AWSMP is pleased to announce the return of one of its most pop­u­lar sum­mer activ­i­ties:  stream snor­kel­ing! Dis­cov­er the under­wa­ter world of streams by join­ing us for a fun filled morn­ing of stream snor­kel­ing in the Eso­pus Creek. This free pro­gram was cre­at­ed with fam­i­lies in mind. Par­tic­i­pants must be at least 8 years old and those under the age of 12 must be accom­pa­nied by an adult (the adult does not have to snorkel). This event will be held at the Emer­son Resort and Spa in Mount Trem­per, New York. All equip­ment and sup­plies will be pro­vid­ed. Please bring a tow­el and wear swim clothes and old sneak­ers or closed-toed water shoes (no bare feet please).

This pro­gram is designed for peo­ple that live in the Ashokan Water­shed. The Ashokan Water­shed includes the Towns of Hur­ley, Olive, Wood­stock, and Shan­dak­en in Ulster Coun­ty and the Towns of Lex­ing­ton and Hunter in Greene Coun­ty.

Space is lim­it­ed to 15 par­tic­i­pants so sign up now as this event may fill up quick­ly.

COVID-19 Safe­ty Pre­cau­tions will be fol­lowed, includ­ing wear­ing masks and social dis­tanc­ing where need­ed. Snor­kel­ing equip­ment will be thor­ough­ly dis­in­fect­ed pri­or to the event and after it is com­plet­ed.

Only those that are snor­kel­ing will need to reg­is­ter. If you are reg­is­ter­ing more than one per­son, you will have to reg­is­ter each one sep­a­rate­ly. Once you reg­is­ter you will get a let­ter in the mail with a release form that you will have to fill out and return to AWSMP.

There will be two sep­a­rate ses­sions, with one being held on Fri­day, July 9 and the oth­er being held on Fri­day, July 16. Please click the appro­pri­ate link below to sign up for the date that you wish to attend. Both events will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Fri­day July 9 Snor­kel­ing Event Registration

Fri­day July 16 Snor­kel­ing Event Reg­is­tra­tion

If you have any ques­tions please con­tact Brent Gotsch at bwg37@cornell.edu or call him at 845–688-3047 ext. 103. If the event becomes sold out please con­tact Brent and he will add you to a wait­ing list.

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SMIP Grant Funding Available

Posted on: June 22nd, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker

The AWSMP is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for Stream Man­age­ment Imple­men­ta­tion Pro­gram (SMIP) grant fund­ing. The dead­line for sub­mis­sion of appli­ca­tions is Wednes­day, June 30, 2021.

Eli­gi­ble appli­cants include local, coun­ty, state, or fed­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies, 501©(3) orga­ni­za­tions, sec­ondary school dis­tricts, col­leges or uni­ver­si­ties. For-prof­it firms or insti­tu­tions may sub­mit fund­ing appli­ca­tions in the Research, Assess­ment and Mon­i­tor­ing cat­e­go­ry only.

The AWSMP funds stream stew­ard­ship projects in the fol­low­ing cat­e­gories: Plan­ning; Edu­ca­tion; Research, Assess­ment and Mon­i­tor­ing (see pri­or­i­ty research needs); Stream-Relat­ed Pub­lic Infra­struc­ture Improve­ments (see project eli­gi­bil­i­ty guid­ance); Flood Haz­ard Mit­i­ga­tion; and Stream Restoration.

Fund­ing appli­ca­tions for projects rec­om­mend­ed in a Local Flood Analy­sis plan may be sub­mit­ted at any time. 

For more infor­ma­tion and how to apply, vis­it: https://ashokanstreams.org/projects-funding/

The AWSMP will announce the third and final fund­ing round of 2021 in September.

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Join the Warner Creek Virtual Stream Walk

Posted on: June 21st, 2021 by Leslie_Zucker

Res­i­dents of the Warn­er Creek val­ley, Shan­dak­en town offi­cials, and any­one inter­est­ed in learn­ing more are invit­ed to attend a “vir­tu­al” Warn­er Creek Stream Walk held online Fri­day, June 25 from 2–4 p.m. To receive the webi­nar link, reg­is­ter at: tinyurl.com/WarnerCreekVirtualStreamWalk.

Dur­ing the Stream Walk we’ll learn more about the Warn­er Creek val­ley and changes in the stream chan­nel that led to pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of sev­er­al sites for restora­tion work this sum­mer. The Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict will dis­cuss how the stream sites are being restored and what to expect in the val­ley before, dur­ing, and after project construction.

The event will offer plen­ty of time for landown­er questions. 

To learn more, con­tact Tim Koch, Stream Edu­ca­tor at AWSMP by email tk545@cornell.edu or phone (845) 688‑3047.

Photo of stream program staff conducting field survey of Warner Creek
Staff of the Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict sur­vey an unsta­ble sec­tion of Warn­er Creek in 2019.
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