Posts Tagged ‘Floodplain Management’

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.

HEC-RAS Workshop a Success!

Posted on: August 16th, 2019 by Tim Koch

The Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program recently hosted a three-day workshop on how to use HEC-RAS, a powerful computer program used to model flow in stream channels. HEC-RAS is an acronym for the Hydrologic Engineering Center’s River Analysis System. First released in 1995, its capabilities have grown significantly over time. HEC-RAS is now on its fifth version. It is often used to delineate the extent of the 1% annual chance floodplain (aka, the 100-year floodplain) among other regulatory, technical, and environmental uses.

Workshop participants use digital models of the terrain to help model how rivers behave during flood events.

Workshop participants use digital models of the terrain to help model how rivers behave during flood events.

This 3-day workshop focused on using HEC-RAS to aid in the assessment and design of bridges and culverts. Milone and MacBroom, Inc. (MMI) were contracted to conduct the hands-on workshop to an audience of twenty people. Participants included staff and managers from County Departments of Public Works and Town Highway Departments within the West of Hudson Water Supply watersheds. Others in attendance included flood hazard mitigation personnel from NYC DEP, Stream Management Program staff, DEC hydrologists, and folks from Riverkeeper.

HEC-RAS requires site-specific input data to accurately model flows and floods. Thus, the workshop had a field component where people were taught where to place stream cross sections in relation to the bridge, how to conduct pebble counts to determine size distribution of sediment particles on the stream bed, and how to measure specific components of bridges and culverts required to build a HEC-RAS model. Only local data were used, and the workshop centered around modeling existing conditions and proposed alternatives for an under-sized bridge in the Ashokan Reservoir watershed.

Workshop participants investigate the Fox Hollow Road bridge over the Esopus Creek. Measurements taken on site were used to model different bridge replacement scenarios in order to increase community resilience during floods.

Workshop participants investigate the Fox Hollow Road bridge over the Esopus Creek. Measurements taken on site were used to model different bridge replacement scenarios in order to increase community resilience during floods.

It is important that bridges and culverts are sized properly to pass flows that the structure is likely to see over the course of its life. Undersized bridges and culverts not only worsen flooding, but also fragment aquatic ecosystems and can create instability in the stream channel that can propagate significant distances upstream and downstream from the structure and lead to other damage.

This workshop was aimed at empowering local engineers and highway department staff to make informed decisions when managing road-stream crossings (i.e., bridges and culverts.) Properly sized crossings help to increase community resilience to climate change, improve aquatic habitat, and help to maintain water quality in the Esopus Creek and its tributaries.

Floodplain Manager Trainings Start in January

Posted on: November 30th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker
CCEUC Educator Brent Gotsch is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), a certification recognized both nationally and by the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Gotsch offers a free course in the NYC Watershed on preparing to become a CFM.

CCEUC Educator Brent Gotsch is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM), a certification recognized both nationally and by the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Gotsch offers a free course in the NYC Watershed on preparing to become a CFM.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) and the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program will host a series of trainings early next year to prepare local officials to take the Certified Floodplain Managers (CFM) examination. CCEUC Resource Educator, Brent Gotsch, who is a Certified Floodplain Manager, will be leading the trainings.

Code Enforcement Officers and other town officials benefit from becoming CFMs. A high level of knowledge about the National Flood Insurance Program and associated floodplain regulations is needed to obtain the certification. Through its trainings, CCEUC has helped 12 local officials prepare for and pass the CFM exam.

The trainings are free of charge and held weekly from January to April at the Shandaken Town Hall. Anyone located in a New York City West of Hudson Watershed community is eligible to participate. While personnel from town or village building departments are most likely to benefit from the training, other municipal officials can as well. Planning Board members, Highway Superintendents, and Town Supervisors have all taken the training and gone on to earn their CFM.

If you are a municipal official in the New York City West of Hudson Watershed and are interested in taking this training, please contact Brent Gotsch at 845-688-3047 or via email at bwg37@cornell.edu. Trainings are expected to begin early in January 2019 and run weekly until about mid-April.

Elevation Certificate Training

Posted on: October 7th, 2016 by Leslie_Zucker

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Join the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program and Rob Flaner, Certified Floodplain Manager of Tetra Tech, on Monday, October 17 in Mount Tremper, NY at the Emerson Resort and Spa for a special Elevation Certificate Workshop. Event will run from 9:00am to 3:30pm and lunch will be provided. The training will guide participants through all the necessary steps to correctly complete and review a FEMA elevation certificate. Topics to be discussed include:

  • The importance of elevation certificates in sound floodplain management
  • Tutorial on how to find elevation certificates online, how to use fillable forms and instruction on how to properly submit them
  • Instruction on how to properly fill out each section of the elevation certificate with description on how and where information for each item can be obtained
  • How to identify the proper building diagram for Item A7 in the elevation certificate
  • In-depth discussion on the difference between each building diagram with special attention paid to common buildings found in the Catskill region
  • Guidance on  completion of surveys including methodologies and protocols for all elevation certificate Section C fields
  • Common errors associated with elevation certificates and how to identify and correct them
  • Appropriate  filing and storage strategies with emphasis on how to be compliant with Community Rating System (CRS) requirements
  • Examples and exercises for participants to practice the knowledge gained in the workshop

Additionally, we anticipate that Certified Floodplain Managers, Code Enforcement Officials, and Professional Land Surveyors will receive approximately six hours of continuing education credit upon completion of this course.

The workshop is free, however, registration is required due to limited space. Please contact Brent Gotsch at 845-688-3047 Ext. 3 or  bwg37@cornell.edu to register for the course or if you have questions.
Please RSVP no later Wednesday October 12 in order to hold your spot!