Posts Tagged ‘AWSMP’

Now Hiring for AWSMP

Posted on: July 27th, 2022 by Leslie_Zucker

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) is seeking a science education and communications professional to fill the role of Watershed Educator in Ulster County. 

The primary focus of the Watershed Educator’s work will be to develop and deliver stream and floodplain education programs to adult audiences, including members of the general watershed public, landowners, and local municipal officials. 

The Watershed Educator’s primary work location will be the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP) office in Shokan, NY. Half the position’s time will be spent working to deliver the AWSMP in the NYC Water Supply Watershed in the Catskills region of northwest Ulster County. The remainder of time will be worked on projects outside the NYC Watershed from CCEUC’s primary office in Kingston, NY. Partial work from home arrangements are possible, but the Educator must be able to travel easily within Ulster County.

Click here to learn more and apply by August 22: https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/CCECareerPage/job/New-York-State-Other/Watershed-Educator—Shokan–NY_WDR-00032596

Leprechaun Bees in Search of Native Plant Gold!

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

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!

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Stream Explorers, Register Now!

Posted on: March 19th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

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!

National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Water Chestnut

Posted on: March 2nd, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

Welcome to the final day of National Invasive Species Week! Thank you all for sticking with us. We hope you’ve learned a great deal and will continue efforts in preserving our native species! Last, but not least, we look at the aquatic invasive Water Chestnut.

Water Chestnut is native to Eurasia and Africa, introduced to the U.S. in the mid-1800’s as an ornamental plant. It is found in freshwater lakes and slow-moving streams and rivers. First notice in Scotia, NY, Water Chestnut occurs in 43 counties across New York State.

Indentification

Water Chestnut is an annual plant with floating triangluarly-shaped leaves containing saw-toothed edges. The submerged, hollow air-filled stems grow 12 to 15 feet in length that anchor themselves in the soil. Four-petaled, white flowers bloom in June, with fruits containing 4-inch spines with barbs. Seeds within the fruits remain viable up to 12 years. The fruits are key in spreading Water Chestnut, as they detach from the stem and float to another area. The barbs aid in attaching the fruit to recreational watercrafts and fishing equipment.

Leaf system of Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Leaf system of Water Chestnut.
photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Water Chestnut.
photo courtesy of Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel

Fruit of the Water Chestnut. photo courtesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

Fruit of the Water Chestnut.
photo courtesy of NYS Parks Boat Stewards

So what’s the problem?

Water Chestnuts contain dense root mats that make water recreation extremely difficult to get through. These dense mats also shade out native plants, which provide food and shelter to native  fish, birds, and insects. When the dense mats decompose, the chemical processes involved decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, potentially suffocating fish and plant species. The fruits of the Water Chestnut are often found along the shoreline and bottom of waterways, making the barbs of the fruits extremely painful if stepped on.

What can be done?

A variety of methods in controlling Water Chestnut include manual, mechanical, and chemical methods. Early detection is the best way to control and even eradicate this invasive aquatic plant, keeping costs and ecological impacts low. Hand-pulling is often done to smaller infected areas, though, when a site is too large, harvesting machines can also be used. Chemical treatments should be done by NYS DEC professionals only.

As a local community member, make sure to Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft and equipment before and after each use. Be sure to dump your bait bucket water where it came from or on land.

If you think you have found Water Chestnut, take a look at the Water Chestnut Fact Sheet. If confirmed, the NYS DEC asks you take many photos and submit a report to iMapInvasives. Please share this information with others!


For more information regarding local infestations of Water Chestnut, check out the Esopus Creek Conservancy here. Thank you again for taking time to explore invasive species with us during National Invasive Species Awareness Week! Check back soon for more updates from the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Didymo (Rock Snot)

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

Day 4 of National Invasive Species Awareness Week is dedicated to Rock Snot!

What is it?

Didymosphernia geminata a.k.a. Didymo a.k.a. Rock Snot, is an aquatic, invasive, microscopic diatomaceous algae that produces high volumes of stalk material, which is why you may see thick mats on stream bottoms. It is often brown, tan, or white, with the appearance and texture of wet wool that does not fall apart easily.

Didymo in the Esopus Creek. photo courtesy of NYIS

Didymo in the Esopus Creek.
photo courtesy of NYIS

How does this impact streams?

Because Didymo grows on the bottom of streams and still waters, and forms thick mats of material, it can last for months, despite occurring throughout some fast moving streams. When Didymo grows, or blooms, it covers entire stream beds, covering over native organisms, and restricting the availability of food for native fish species. It spreads quickly and easily due to water recreation activities. Fishing, kayaking/canoeing, tubing, and boating allows the microscopic algea to attach onto your boots, waders, and boats, and if not cleaned off properly, it will spread to the next body of water you go to. Currently, there are no control methods available to stop the spread and eradicate Didymo.

Make it stop!

NYS DEC urges the public to use the “Inspect, Clean and Dry” method to decrease the spread of invasive species. If for any reason you can’t get your equipment clean and dry, restrict your equipment to a single water body.

Density Observations of Rock Snot. map courtesy of NYIS

Density Observations of Rock Snot.
map courtesy of NYIS


**Attention Felt-Sole Waders! We encourage you to consider other alternatives, such as rubber studded boots. Because felt-soles absorb Didymo cells and remain absorbent for long periods of time, the spread of Didymo can increase rapidly if special treatments are not conducted.

Check back tomorrow for our final day of National Invasive Species Awareness Week!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week – Emerald Ash Borer

Posted on: February 28th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

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!

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2018 – Japanese Knotweed

Posted on: February 26th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

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

 

 

 

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

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

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.