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


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 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 Caroline Stupple

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 to reg­is­ter for the course or if you have questions.
Please RSVP no lat­er Wednes­day Octo­ber 12 in order to hold your spot!