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