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