Posts Tagged ‘Ashokan Watershed’

What is a Stream Feature Inventory (SFI)?

Posted on: July 7th, 2020 by Tim Koch

Hold on tight for a bit of reverse engi­neer­ing:

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) is a col­lab­o­ra­tion between Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty, the Ulster Coun­ty Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict, and the New York City Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion.

All of the AWSM­P’s stream man­age­ment activ­i­ties are under­tak­en in coor­di­na­tion with a local Stake­hold­er Coun­cil. The Stake­hold­er Coun­cil uses rec­om­men­da­tions from Stream Man­age­ment Plans to guide their deci­sion mak­ing. Man­age­ment plans con­tain a com­pre­hen­sive review of stream char­ac­ter­is­tics, data, maps, and rec­om­mend­ed man­age­ment strate­gies.

The large amount of data and obser­va­tions required to write a man­age­ment plan for a stream come from a Stream Fea­ture Inven­to­ry (SFI). This is where the rub­ber meets the road, or, where the wad­ing boots meet the stream bed.

Dur­ing a SFI, AWSMP staff from the Ulster Coun­ty Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict walk a stream from top to bot­tom, col­lect­ing data on erod­ing stream banks, log­jams, and infra­struc­ture. These data are then ana­lyzed and ulti­mate­ly used to write a stream man­age­ment plan.

Join AWSMP Stream Edu­ca­tor Tim Koch as he joins the assess­ment crew on a SFI of the Elk Bushkill Creek in the Town of Shan­dak­en. This SFI is part of a larg­er effort by AWSMP to assess mul­ti­ple head­wa­ter trib­u­taries of the Eso­pus Creek, includ­ing McKin­ley Hol­low Creek and Lit­tle Peck Hol­low Creek. These trib­u­taries may be con­tribut­ing exces­sive sed­i­ment loads to the upper Eso­pus  Creek in the Oliv­erea val­ley. Excess sed­i­ment sup­ply leads to aggra­da­tion, or sed­i­ment “fill­ing in” the stream, which can sub­se­quent­ly trig­ger bank ero­sion and raise flood ele­va­tions.  SFI’s of the Eso­pus Creek head­wa­ters may help to locate and pri­or­i­tize restora­tion project sites aimed at reduc­ing the sed­i­ment sup­ply reach­ing the val­ley.

Stay tuned in the com­ing months for a SFI report on the Eso­pus Creek Head­wa­ters and for a new stream man­age­ment plan for the Lit­tle Beaver Kill in the Town of Wood­stock.

 

Share

New Video on Stream Channel Stability

Posted on: May 6th, 2020 by Tim Koch

The AWSMP office might be phys­i­cal­ly closed, but our edu­ca­tion staff have been hard at work gen­er­at­ing online stream based con­tent for both youth and adults.

AWSMP Educators Matt Savatgy, Brent, Gotsch, Tim Koch, and Amanda Cabanillas.

AWSMP Edu­ca­tors (from left to right) Matt Savat­gy, Brent Gotsch, Tim Koch, and Aman­da Caban­il­las dur­ing a snow­shoe stream walk in 2019.

 

AWSMP Stream Edu­ca­tor Tim Koch has just released a new video on stream chan­nel sta­bil­i­ty: what it is, and why it is impor­tant to main­tain and improve the sta­bil­i­ty of our rivers and streams. This 9‑minute video is meant for landown­ers, munic­i­pal offi­cials, con­ser­va­tion advi­so­ry coun­cil mem­bers, and any­one else inter­est­ed in or involved in stream man­age­ment.

 

This video can also be viewed direct­ly from AWSM­P’s YouTube Chan­nel.

AWSMP Water­shed Youth Edu­ca­tor Matt Savat­gy and Pro­gram Assis­tant Aman­da Caban­il­las are cur­rent­ly pro­duc­ing a series of edu­ca­tion­al videos and at-home activ­i­ties for stu­dents. Fol­low along at home as they dis­cuss dif­fer­ent types of rocks, assess a cul­vert, and inves­ti­gate stream fea­tures in a chan­nel cross-sec­tion.

 

Screenshot of CCE Ulster Youth Education Video Series Website

Screen­shot of CCE Ulster Youth Sci­ence Edu­ca­tion Video Series Web­site

 

The online sci­ence series can be found at the Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty web­site and on the AWSMP web­site under Videos.

Check back with us in the com­ing weeks, espe­cial­ly if you are a stream­side landown­er or own prop­er­ty in the Spe­cial Flood Haz­ard Area as Resource Edu­ca­tor Brent Gotsch will be pro­duc­ing a series of short videos on flood­plains, flood­proof­ing, and all things flood insur­ance. In these upcom­ing videos, Brent will teach view­ers how to read a flood insur­ance rate map (FIRM) and the work­ings of the Nation­al Flood Insur­ance Pro­gram (NFIP) among oth­er flood relat­ed top­ics.

As always, our edu­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal staff are avail­able to answer any stream, flood­plain, or ripar­i­an buffer relat­ed ques­tions! Call the AWSMP office main line at (845) 688‑3047 for assis­tance or email info@ashokanstreams.org.

Share

Leprechaun Bees in Search of Native Plant Gold!

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

It’s spring now and because St. Patrick­’s Day just passed, we are tak­ing a look at one of nature’s small­est lep­rechauns.… Augochlorop­sis metal­li­ca, a type of Sweat Bee. Native and metal­lic green, metal­li­ca is small­er than a Hon­ey Bee!

Augochloropsis metallica (head)

Augochlorop­sis metal­li­ca (head)

Since these bees are so small, it takes a keen eye to spot them. Augo­chorop­sis metal­li­ca is found through­out the Unit­ed States, from Ontario to Flori­da, and as far west as Ari­zona! They are usu­al­ly around from March until Novem­ber, with their flu­o­res­cent emer­ald green bod­ies shim­mer­ing in the day­light.

Augochloropsis metallica (back)

Augochlorop­sis metal­li­ca (back)

Augochloropsis metallica (side)

Augochlorop­sis metal­li­ca (side)

These beau­ti­ful­ly tiny native bees have been sight­ed in two loca­tions around the Ashokan Water­shed, Stony Clove Creek in Greene Coun­ty, and in Oliv­erea of Ulster Coun­ty! What makes this bee so spe­cial is that it plays a cru­cial role in pol­li­nat­ing our native plants, pro­vid­ing a fight­ing chance for our native plant species to stand up against inva­sive plant species.

A zoomed-in focus of Augochloropsis metallica sightings!  Note:  Stony Clove Creek & Oliverea!

A zoomed-in focus of Augochlorop­sis metal­li­ca sight­ings! Note: Stony Clove Creek & Oliv­erea!

If you want to try and see the emer­ald metal­li­ca bee, make sure to plant native plants in and around your yard!

To pur­chase your plants local­ly, the Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict will be hold­ing their annu­al Bare Root Seedling Sale in April! Orders must be placed by Fri­day, March 30th using this order form, with pick-up dates being held on Wednes­day April 18th at Ulster Coun­ty Fair­grounds in New Paltz and Fri­day April 20th at Ulster Coun­ty Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works in Kingston. If you miss the dead­line, left-over sin­gle stem stock is usu­al­ly avail­able for walk-up pur­chase at the two loca­tions list­ed above.

Hap­py plant­i­ng, and thank you for sup­port­ing the bees!

Face­bookTwit­terInsta­gram

Share

Stream Explorers, Register Now!

Posted on: March 19th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Stream Explor­ers of the Ashokan Water­shed, Grades 3 through 7, are invit­ed to take part in this year’s Stream Explor­ers Youth Adven­ture on Sat­ur­day, April 14th! The Youth Adven­ture will run from 8:30am to 4:30pm at the Ashokan Cen­ter in Olive­bridge, NY. Stream Explor­ers can expect to enjoy a fun-filled, action-packed day in the out­doors learn­ing about how streams work, inves­ti­gat­ing stream ecosys­tems, and learn­ing to use sci­ence tools to assess stream health! A hearty lunch, as well as morn­ing and after­noon snacks will be pro­vid­ed.

The Early­bird reg­is­tra­tion dead­line has end­ed, but reg­u­lar reg­is­tra­tion is still avail­able.

Space is lim­it­ed, so don’t delay!

Reg­is­ter by April 6th here and check out our brochure for more infor­ma­tion!

Share

National Invasive Species Awareness Week — Emerald Ash Borer

Posted on: February 28th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Hap­py Wednes­day! On this third day of Nation­al Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week, we’re tak­ing a clos­er look at the Emer­ald Ash Bor­er (EAB).

Accord­ing to the NYS DEC, The EAB is a bee­tle from Asia that was first found in Michi­gan in 2002. Sad­ly, the EAB infests and even­tu­al­ly kills North Amer­i­can Ash tree species, mak­ing every native Ash tree sus­cep­ti­ble to infes­ta­tion.

Let’s get a clos­er look!

The EAB is very small, mea­sur­ing, at most, 0.5 inch­es long and 0.125 inch­es wide. The adults have a shim­mer­ing emer­ald green body with a cop­per or pur­ple abdomen on it’s under­side. You’ll often see these pests from May through Sep­tem­ber, but their prime activ­i­ty months are June and July. If you pass by an Ash tree, you will most like­ly see D‑shaped exit holes in the branch­es and trunk of trees. Oth­er signs of infec­tion include the yel­low­ing and brown­ing of tree leaves and less tree canopy present. With­in 2 to 4 years, the Ash trees will suc­cumb to the EAB infes­ta­tion.

ID the Emerald Ash Borer. photo courtesy of NYIS

ID the Emer­ald Ash Bor­er.
pho­to cour­tesy of NYIS

Emerald Ash Borer Larva inside an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Emer­ald Ash Bor­er Lar­va inside an Ash tree.
pho­to cour­tesy of Emer­ald Ash Bor­er Infor­ma­tion Net­work

Emerald Ash Borer Damage to an Ash tree. photo courtesy of Woodworking Network

Emer­ald Ash Bor­er Dam­age to an Ash tree.
pho­to cour­tesy of Wood­work­ing Net­work

The EAB is found through­out the East­ern to Cen­tral Unit­ed States and East­ern Cana­da. In New York, the first infes­ta­tion of EAB was sight­ed in Cat­ta­rau­gus Coun­ty in 2009. It then spread to the Hud­son Riv­er Val­ley, and con­tin­ued on to more than 30 coun­ties. Infes­ta­tions were most recent­ly found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Coun­ties in 2017.

Map of Emerald Ash Borer Locations. courtesy of NYS DEC

Map of Emer­ald Ash Bor­er Loca­tions.
cour­tesy of NYS DEC

 What can you do?

Review this EAB Ear­ly Detec­tion Brochure. If you believe you have an Emer­ald Ash Bor­er infes­ta­tion and are out­side of the known infes­ta­tion areas, call the Depart­ment of For­est Health Infor­ma­tion line (1–866-640‑0652).


 

Keep up with us this week in hon­or of Nation­al Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week and check back tomor­row to learn about a dif­fer­ent Inva­sive Species!

Check us out on Face­bookTwit­ter, and Insta­gram

Share

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2018 — Japanese Knotweed

Posted on: February 26th, 2018 by Samantha Kahl

Feb­ru­ary 26th marks the begin­ning of Nation­al Inva­sive Species Aware­ness Week! Through­out this week, until March 2nd, we will be explor­ing dif­fer­ent inva­sive species present with­in our water­shed. To start off this week, we must first ask our­selves, “What is an inva­sive species?”. An inva­sive species is a species that is non-native to an ecosys­tem and has the poten­tial to cause envi­ron­men­tal harm to an area. Inva­sive species often out-com­pete native species, giv­ing native species lit­tle chance for sur­vival; this includes both ter­res­tri­al and aquat­ic plants and ani­mals.

Japanese Knotweed within the Watershed

Japan­ese Knotweed with­in the Water­shed

The first inva­sive species we’ll look at is Japan­ese Knotweed. This mon­ster of a plant came to the U.S. as an orna­men­tal plant in the 1800’s from East­ern Asia. Knotweed is iden­ti­fied by its large heart-shaped leaves, hol­low bam­boo-like stalks, and clus­ters of white or cream col­ored flow­ers. It is often found near streams or rivers and it can with­stand low-light, high tem­per­a­tures, drought, and poor soil qual­i­ty, mak­ing this inva­sive resilient to many dif­fer­ent types of envi­ron­ments. Knotweed can grow up to 15 feet tall, with deep rhi­zomes (roots) extend­ing into the ground, mak­ing it very dif­fi­cult and time­ly to erad­i­cate.

Photo of Japanese Knotweed leaves & flowers courtesy of http://www.nyis.info

Pho­to of Japan­ese Knotweed leaves & flow­ers cour­tesy of http://www.nyis.info

Col­lab­o­ra­tion and coor­di­na­tion from as many peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions as pos­si­ble is the best way to tack­le Japan­ese Knotweed. In order to con­trol it, one must be dili­gent. The Catskill Region­al Inva­sive Species Part­ner­ship (CRISP) rec­om­mends con­tin­u­ous man­u­al removal of Knotweed approx­i­mate­ly 2–3 times each year for at least 3 years, or until it is erad­i­cat­ed. Accord­ing to New York Inva­sive Species Infor­ma­tion (NYIS), mow­ing or cut­ting of Japan­ese Knotweed will actu­al­ly spread the plant, rather than con­tain it. For those who would like to use her­bi­cides on large vol­umes of Knotweed, call your local CCE or Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict office to get more infor­ma­tion on chem­i­cal reg­u­la­tions and safe­ty pre­cau­tions in your region.

 

Videos regard­ing Inva­sive Species in New York State:

Pre­vent the Spread of Inva­sive Species

Get to Know Inva­sive Plants

 

Fol­low us this week as we uncov­er more inva­sive species in our Ashokan Water­shed! Face­bookTwit­terInsta­gram

 

 

 

Share

AWSMP Tries Out the W.A.V.E.

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Samantha Kahl

The impor­tance of water qual­i­ty has always been a top pri­or­i­ty for water­shed res­i­dents and the stream man­age­ment pro­gram as it works with com­mu­ni­ties to man­age streams. So how do we mea­sure the effects of stream man­age­ment on water qual­i­ty? One method is macroin­ver­te­brate sam­pling. Macroin­ver­te­brates are insects present with­in our streams that are vis­i­ble to the naked eye: Stone­flies, Mayflies, and Cad­dis­flies, just to name a few!

Recent­ly, AWSMP staff mem­bers Saman­tha Kahl with Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty, and Alli­son Lent, Stream Assess­ment Coor­di­na­tor, and Tiffany Runge, Water­shed Tech­ni­cian with Ulster Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict (SWCD) got out­side to mon­i­tor aquat­ic insects and do the WAVE! Actu­al­ly, it’s W.A.V.E. — Water Assess­ments by Vol­un­teer Eval­u­a­tors. This pro­gram is run by the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (DEC). Vol­un­teers are trained to take macroin­ver­te­brate sam­ples from streams for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion at the DEC office. This prac­tice helps deter­mine stream seg­ments that are poten­tial­ly impaired (e.g. pol­lut­ed or dis­turbed). Macroin­ver­te­brates are sen­si­tive to water qual­i­ty, so if pol­lu­tion-tol­er­ant species are present and oth­ers are not, we may have an impaired stream seg­ment that needs fur­ther mon­i­tor­ing. If a vari­ety of sen­si­tive species are abun­dant, it’s usu­al­ly a good indi­ca­tor for high water qual­i­ty.

Case-making Caddisfly larva found attached to a rock in a segment of Woodland Creek.

Case-mak­ing Cad­dis­fly lar­va found attached to a rock in a seg­ment of Wood­land Val­ley Creek.

Our pur­pose of going into the field was to get a sense of the water qual­i­ty at a poten­tial Wood­land Val­ley Creek restora­tion site. Know­ing the water con­di­tions pri­or to restora­tion pro­vides a bet­ter sense of how restora­tion efforts affect the stream, allow­ing project man­agers to mit­i­gate future restora­tion projects if need be. Our pur­pose also includ­ed test­ing out W.A.V.E. pro­gram sam­pling meth­ods. The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram is inter­est­ed in start­ing a W.A.V.E. pro­gram for local com­mu­ni­ties to take part in. Feel free to fill out this short sur­vey regard­ing your avail­abil­i­ty for a poten­tial W.A.V.E. pro­gram start-up; any feed­back is appre­ci­at­ed! And don’t for­get to check back soon for more event and vol­un­teer infor­ma­tion at our web­site.

Tiffany Runge, Watershed Technician (left), and Allison Lent, Stream Assessment Coordinator (right), of the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District sorting through leaf litter for macroinvertebrate sampling on the banks of Woodland Creek.

Ulster Coun­ty SWCD’s Tiffany Runge (left) and Alli­son Lent (right) sort through leaf lit­ter look­ing for macroin­ver­te­brates on the banks of Wood­land Val­ley Creek.

Share

Out With The Invasive, In With The Native

Posted on: September 12th, 2016 by Caroline Stupple

On Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 10th the Catskill Inter­pre­tive Cen­ter (CIC) held a vol­un­teer inva­sive pull event on their prop­er­ty. The area is to be pre­pared for a Ripar­i­an Buffer Demon­stra­tion project lead by the Catskill Streams Buffer Ini­tia­tive (CSBI). The CIC received fund­ing from the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) and CSBI to remove the inva­sive species, replace them with native trees and shrubs, and cre­ate edu­ca­tion­al mate­r­i­al to inform the com­mu­ni­ty on the impor­tance of stream­side buffers.

Bob­by Tay­lor, CSBI Coor­di­na­tor, teach­ing the vol­un­teers how to iden­ti­fy com­mon ripar­i­an inva­sive plant species.

Our day start­ed off with a short pre-event rain storm that helped to cool off the pre­vi­ous mug­gi­ness of the day. Once all of the vol­un­teers gath­ered, CSBI coor­di­na­tor Bob­by Tay­lor held an edu­ca­tion­al talk about inva­sive species’ role in the envi­ron­ment and dif­fer­ent impor­tant man­age­ment options. We were pleased to learn just how much our par­tic­i­pants already know about inva­sives and how pas­sion­ate they are about lim­it­ing inva­sive species spread and man­ag­ing them on their own prop­er­ties. Our con­ver­sa­tions touched on just how eas­i­ly inva­sive species out­com­pete native species and decrease bio­di­ver­si­ty and how they can dras­ti­cal­ly affect native organ­isms that rely on native habi­tat. It is always inspir­ing to inter­act with com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers who are deal­ing with and care about the same issues we are tack­ling.

With shov­els, pick­ax­es, uproot­ers, bugspray, and sheer deter­mi­na­tion in hand, the vol­un­teers set out with one mis­sion; to get those pesky plants out! And boy did that deter­mi­na­tion go a long way! We were utter­ly blown away at how great of a team the vol­un­teers made and how much mate­r­i­al we were able to clear. As our day wound down we had a love­ly pic­nic lunch, pro­vid­ed by the CIC, and got to sit down with the vol­un­teers and get to know them a bit. Our pro­duc­tive day end­ed with good food and great com­pa­ny!

Vol­un­teers iden­ti­fy and pull inva­sive species at the Ripar­i­an Buffer Demon­stra­tion project site at the CIC.

At the root of the pull project and the impend­ing ripar­i­an restora­tion in the fall, is the impor­tance of stream buffers to water qual­i­ty, habi­tat, and flood­plain sta­bil­i­ty.  A small ephemer­al stream, one that has flow­ing water dur­ing and fol­low­ing a rain fall or snow melt event, runs through the back of the CIC prop­er­ty; adja­cent to the stream is the spe­cial zone called the flood­plain. These flood­plains are high­ly sus­cep­ti­ble to inva­sive species because seeds and frag­ments of plant mate­r­i­al can so eas­i­ly be car­ried by flow­ing water and deposit­ed down­stream.

This issue is far from only being a stream­side prob­lem. Many peo­ple, groups, and even gov­ern­ment agen­cies deal with inva­sive species man­age­ment on a dai­ly basis. It takes all mem­bers of a com­mu­ni­ty to real­ly stop the inva­sion and elim­i­nate the future intro­duc­tion of non­na­tive and inva­sive species. Our amaz­ing group of vol­un­teers was not only hard­work­ing, but also enthu­si­as­tic about envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, con­tin­u­ing their own fight against inva­sives on their prop­er­ties, and help­ing to edu­cate oth­ers to do the same.

CSBI, AWSMP,the CIC, and the NYS Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion wants to thank all those who par­tic­i­pat­ed and made our Inva­sive Pull Event a suc­cess on all lev­els!

If you would like to learn more about inva­sive species, what you can do, or about the sup­port avail­able to stream­side landown­ers please vis­it the CSBI web­site at http://catskillstreams.org/ or con­tact CSBI Coor­di­na­tor Bob­by Tay­lor at bobby.taylor@ashokanstreams.org. If you would like to learn more about the Ashokan Water­shed please vis­it AWSM­P’s web­site at ashokanstreams.org or con­tact us at 845 688 3047.

 

Share