Happy New Year from the AWSMP Staff!

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by Leslie_Zucker

We are winding up another productive year working with our partners to sustainably manage streams for their integrity and to improve community resilience to flooding. This year the AWSMP worked with our partners to complete two major stream restoration projects and begin a third. Federal funds available after superstorm Sandy helped the AWSMP advance stream restoration projects in the Stony Clove Creek, a tributary to the Esopus Creek. At least three additional stream restoration projects are planned for 2014, again with federal match to AWSMP funds. Both the Bushnellsville Creek and Stony Clove Creek were assessed this year for changes in stream condition and identification of “problem spots” in need of management. And our Catskill Stream Buffer Initiative completed 8 projects that installed 1,850 trees and shrubs, 2,500 willow stakes, and controlled over 10,000 sq. ft. of knotweed along streams.

We also had the chance to interact with many of you at meetings, workshops, and public events. We were pleased that our Shandaken Tunnel operations workshop and National Flood Insurance Program informational sessions helped our partners better understand policies that affect our rivers and communities. We hope to see you at the 2014 Ashokan Watershed Conference planned for early April.

This year we said good-bye to Cory Ritz and Gretchen Rae and welcomed Adam Doan into the SWCD Project Manager position and Heather Eckardt as Sr. Administrative Assistant and office manager. Next year, we hope to add a second watershed educator position working with Leslie Zucker and Brent Gotsch at CCE.  We hear that Cory and Gretchen are doing well in their new home state of New Hampshire! We also say fond farewell to SCA Interns Christina Appleby and Elyse Clifford who worked with our stream crews this summer.

The AWSMP is proud to have financially supported many successful partner projects through stream management implementation grants over the year. Highlights include completion of the Town of Shandaken Flood Mitigation Plan, stabilization of the Beaver Kill at Mink Hollow in the Town of Woodstock, and continued USGS monitoring of the effects of flooding on the fishery and sources of sediment and turbidity in the watershed. We are excited about the Jerry Bartlett Memorial Angling Collection now housed at the public library in Phoenicia and look forward to the launch of new website about the collection in 2014.

The AWSMP is thankful for your support and collaboration in 2013 and we look forward to the year ahead. Greetings and good wishes to you and your family throughout this holiday season and the coming year!