Ashokan Watershed Conference: 2017

logo for AWSMP Watershed Conference 2017


April 29, 2017 at the Ashokan Center, Olivebridge, NY



The 2017 conference focused on how to effectively manage and plan our communities in the face of a rapidly changing and unpredictable environment.

Conference Program

Morning Session

9:00-9:15 Opening Remarks
Opening remarks by David Warne, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Water Supply, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

9:15-10:15 Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Eastern New York
Keynote address by Dr. Kieran Donaghy of Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Sustainable Economic Development Panel Discussion 
Discussion with guest panelists from local municipal and non-profit organizations.

12:00-1:00 Lunch (cost included with registration)

1:00-2:30 Afternoon Session #1

Planning for Sustainable Communities Part 1*
Experienced attorneys and professors from Pace University’s Land Use Law Center: Sustainable economic development and tools at the disposal of land use planners to help guide planning decisions.

Sustainable Fisheries
Fisheries biologists from the USGS and NYSDEC: Current status of the fisheries in the Esopus Creek and how environmental change is impacting fisheries.

Demystifying the Ashokan Reservoir
DEP operations staff: What exactly goes on inside the buildings around the Ashokan Reservoir, and other Reservoir and watershed operations.

2:45-4:15 Afternoon Session #2

Planning for Sustainable Communities Part 2*
Part 2 of the presentation from earlier in the afternoon.

Invasive Species
Natural area managers from the Catskills and Adirondacks: What invasive pests and plants you should be aware of, management practices that prevent the spread of invasives, and how to respond if invasives are detected.

Managing for Sustainable Ecotourism
The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development: How communities can leverage their natural resources for sustainable economic development and the positive and negative impacts of ecotourism.

*Four hours of municipal continuing education credit awarded for conference attendance attending both morning and afternoon sessions titled “Planning for Sustainable Communities.”

Stream Explorers! Youth Conference

As part of the 2017 Conference, we also offered a co-occurring “Stream Explorers” youth conference (also on April 29, 2017 at the Ashokan Center). The “Stream Explorers” conference was designed for children ages 8-14 or grades 3-8. The youth conference featured hands-on outdoor activities taught by CCE educators during the morning, and an afternoon gorge hike adventure in the afternoon. Children attended for free.


Ashokan Watershed Conferences are organized by the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program and a team of dedicated stakeholders. The conference is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, the Ulster County Soil & Water Conservation District, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

For more information, contact the AWSMP office at (845) 688-3047.

Location  |  Who should attend 

ashokanCampus_lunchConference speakerThe Ashokan CampusStream water flow demo


Ashokan Center
477 Beaverkill Road, Olivebridge, NY (Directions)

Nestled in the beautiful Catskill Mountains near the Ashokan reservoir, The Ashokan Center (above) has been helping to educate people in nature, history and the arts since 1967.

Who should attend?

  • Streamside Landowners and Watershed Residents
  • Students and Professionals
  • Town & Village Municipal and Planning Boards
  • Town Supervisors and Highway Superintendents
  • Floodplain Administrators