Promoting Wise Management of Natural Resources in Greene County, New York Since 1961

Brief History of Schoharie Watershed Summits

Over 110 local officials, property owners and agency personnel attended the first Watershed Summit presented by the Schoharie Watershed Assistance Program in 2007. The turnout was indicative of the interest local and regional stakeholders have in learning about the status of water quality in the Schoharie basin, the different programs that are available to support local communities and landowners, and how we can learn from one another that protecting water quality is as much a local benefit as it is for NYC's drinking water supply.

Underscoring that we all have a stake in protecting water quality and our communities, the Summits are a forum to bring diverse interests together to learn from one another, to network, and to understand each others' roles in this living watershed. The Summits are great networking and training opportunities for local officials, planners, engineering firms, watershed managers, regulators, and property owners. Training workshops count toward municipal credits for planning and zoning boards.The Summits continue to grow in popularity and scope since 2007. 

The Schoharie Watershed Summits involve collaborative workshops targeted towards property owners, local decision-makers & watershed agencies across 11 municipalities and 3 counties in the northeastern Catskill Mountains.

2010-lunchThe Schoharie Watershed Summits provide many opportunities for networking and information sharing.

MunicipalitiesCounties

Town of Ashland
Town of Conesville
Town of Gilboa
Town of Hunter
Village of Hunter
Town of Jewett
Town of Lexington
Town of Prattsville
Town of Roxbury
Village of Tannersville
Town of Windham

Delaware
Greene
Schoharie

 

 

Past Schoharie Watershed Summits

2016 Schoharie Watershed Summit                             

"Streams to Tunnel: Watershed Management in the Schoharie Basin"

The Catskill/Delaware watershed, which includes the Schoharie basin, is the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States. Maintaining this remarkable water supply involves understanding the current threats to water quality, how those threats impact watershed communities and the importance behind watershed programming to address these concerns.

This year’s program indluded: reflecting on the Stream Management Program, which originated in the Schoharie basin, understanding the NYC Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) as the driving force behind watershed management, learning about two current invasive pests threatening our forests and waters, and continuing the tradition of providing a forum for discussion about water quality.  

Keynote Address: "Then & Now: Vision of the Schoharie Watershed"
Rene Van Schaack, Executive Director, Greene IDA (former Executive Director, GCSWCD)
Michelle Yost, Watershed Assistance Program Coordinator, GCSWCD

"Filtration Avoidance Determination: The Driving Force Behind NYC's West-of-Hudson Watershed Management"
Paul Rush, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP)

"Two Current Threats to Water Quality: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and Emerald Ash Borer"
Mark Whitmore, Forest Entomologist, Cornell University

Individual break out sessions provided further resources for landowners, managers, and planners in the community including:

  1. How to Use Your Stream Management Plan (Joel DuBois, GCSWCD; David Burns, NYCDEP)
    • This session will include a broad overview of the information contained in a Stream Management Plan, and how to use the plan to identify issues and review recommendations for specific reaches of stream. The session will also include examples where recommendations in the Management Plan were used to prioritize and secure funding for implementation projects to enhance stream stability of those stream reaches.
  2. Forest Management "Ask the Experts" Panel Discussion (Mark Whitmore, Cornell University; Josh VanBrakle, Watershed Agricultural Council; Chris Zimmerman, The Nature Conservancy; Dan Snider, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP); Jason Drobnack, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; moderated by Marilyn Wyman, Columbia-Greene Cornell Cooperative Extension)
    • This panel discussion will give the audience a chance to ask questions about forest management with a focus on invasive species and potential long-range impacts to water quality. Strategies for landowners, municipalities, and/or loggers will be discussed.
  3. Maps Made Easy: Web Map Training for All Audiences (Gretchen Stevens, Hudsonia Ltd.)
    • Readily accessible online maps for Greene County provide lots of information about land and water resources that can help with land-use planning for conservation and development at parcel, town-wide, or county scales. This session will provide a guided hand-on exploration of the Greene County Interactive Web Map, and an introduction to the Greene County Natural Resources Map. The training will be expecially helpful for conservation organizations, municipal planning and zoning boards, conservation commissions, and watershed organizations.
  4. Understanding Stormwater Regulations, Why SWPPPs Matter (Joe Damrath, NYCDEP)
    • The presentation will consist of an overview of the Watershed Regulations pertaining to SWPPP's and non-point source impacts from construction activities. Emphasis will be made on avoidance of pitfalls in the planning process.

 

2015 Watershed Summit                            

"Investment and Innovation for the Future" Summit Handout

The 9th annual Schoharie Watershed Summit, Investment and Innovation for the Future, highlighted communities, locally, nationally and internationally, that have demonstrated resilience and proactivity in flood mitigation and economic recovery.  Various mitigation projects, relocation precedents, and collaborative success stories of communities and natural systems were covered along with training programs for local and elected officials, consultants and watershed managers.  Click here for more information.

Presentations & Educational Materials:

 Keynote Address: Seeking Higher Ground: National and International Approaches to Flood Mitigation - (6.18 mb)

Nicholas Pinter, Ph.D., Department of Geology and Environmental Resources and Policy Program, Southern Illinois University

Community Reconstruction in Prattsville & Sidney - (3.14 mb)                                                                      

Margaret Irwin, River Street Planning, and Kevin Piccoli, Prattsville Local Development Corporation

 

Individual break out sessions provided further resources for landowners, managers, and planners in the community including:

  • New Flood Mitigation Programs and Resources in the NYC West-of-Hudson Watershed (Nate Hendricks, Catskill Watershed Corporation)
  • Roles of the Municipal Planning Board (Peter Manning, Genius Loci Planning)  
  • Understanding How the DEP Stormwater Regulations are Applied in Different Situations (Joe Damrath, NYCDEP)  
  • Reducing Flood Risks Using Hydraulic Modeling, A Panel of Experts and a Q&A Session (Nicholas Pinter, Graydon Dutcher, DCSWCD; Michelle Yost, GCSWCD; and others)  

 

2014 Watershed Summit 

"Consequences of Inaction in a Changing Climate" Summit Handout

The 8th annual Watershed Summit, hosted by the Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District Schoharie Watershed Program, was held on January 25th, 2014. Consequences of Inaction in a Changing Climate will focus on climatic patterns of the Schoharie Watershed region and the importance of integrating climate change information into response and hazard mitigation plans. The Earth is warming and New York is too. Just as we are seeing unprecedented rates of change globally, we are also observing rapid change in New York including rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns resulting in intense rains and floods (Climate Change Facts, Cornell Climate Change PWT, Oct, 2011). Join us as we explore historical climate patters for the region, how we can adapt by implementing flood mitigation measures, and what communities can do to plan for the future.

 

2013 Watershed Summit

"Are We Prepared for the Next Irene or Sandy?" Summit Handout
2013 Watershed Summit Speakers with Peter Lopez and Chris Gibson2013 Watershed Summit Guest Speakers from right; Jeffery Baker, of the Coalition of Watershed Towns; Michael Kline, Vermont State Rivers Program manager; and James MacBroom, senior vice president of Malone & MacBroom consultancy firm, joined by State Assemblyman Peter Lopez (left) and U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson (second form left).

The 2013 Summit brought together upwards of 150 local officials, environmental managers and concerned landowners to discuss strategies for preparing for and mitigating extreme flood events like Hurricane Irene.

Guest speakers focused on problems with a reactionary approach to flood hazards as well as the misconceptions of previous attempts to reduce flood damage such as the straightening of rivers and dredging. A special focus was placed on the changing relationships we have with streams and the ways in which we can apply the improved science and better understanding of river behavior in the Catskill Mountain region.

The Summit speakers also focused on the implementation of the recently introduced Local Flood Hazard Mitigation Analysis (LFHMA). This program developed by the New York City Stream Management Implementation Program (SMIP) and the DEP is an effective tool to analyze the flood hazards present in a community and then identify key areas for improvement.  

Presentations & Educational Materials:

Keynote Address: Options for Reducing Flood Risk, Making Informed Decisions

Michael Kline, State Rivers Program Manager, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Resources:

Vermont's Commitment to Flood Resiliency (Part 1) - (9.85 MB pdf)                           

Vermont's Commitment to Flood Resiliency (Part 2) - (7.0 MB pdf)

Flood Hazard Mitigation Implementation Program (FHMIP)

Jeffrey Baker, Esq. Coalition of Watershed Towns

Proposed Flood Hazard Mitigation Program

What is a Local Flood Hazard Mitigation Analysis & How Do Communities Use It To Reduce Risk?

Jim MacBroom, P.E., Milone & MacBroom, Inc.

Resources:

What is a Local Flood Hazard Mitigation Analysis and How Do Communities Use it to Reduce Risk? (Part 1) - (1.60 MB pdf)

What is a Local Flood Hazard Mitigation Analysis and How Do Communities Use it to Reduce Risk? (Part 2) - (1.61 MB pdf)

Individual break out sessions provided further resources for landowners, managers, and planners in the community including:

  • Flood Studies, Where does the water go and Why? (Jim MacBroom, P.E.)
    • Focused on furthering the understanding of flood behavior and the impact of dredging.

Resources:

Flood Recovery Methods (Part 1) - (4.81 MB pdf)

Flood Recovery Methods (Part 2) - (5.59 MB pdf)

  • 2012 National Flood Insurance Program policy changes. (Bill Nechamen, NYSDEC)
    • An overview of changes and the impacts on community participation and landowners.
  • Can you see the forests for the trees. (Columbia-Greene Cornell Cooperative Ext. and Watershed Agricultural Council)
    • Provided an understanding of the relevance of forest management to reducing flood risks and water quality degradation.
  • User Friendly GIS mapping. (Dave Czajkowski, Kingston GIS Consulting)
    • Introduced users to the Greene County GIS Web Map for planning, resource protection, and other uses.    

2012 Watershed Summit

"Recovery and Rebuilding in the Wake of Irene" Summit Handout

The 6th annual Schoharie Watershed Summit focused on recovery, rebuilding, and learning from Hurricane Irene - the largest rainstorm to hit the Catskills in recorded history. There is a balance to protecting the health and safety of our communities in the face of increased precipitation and flooding, and this Summit explored fundamental stream principles in relation to flood response. The Summit investigated how watershed stakeholders could plan proactively and take proper corrective actions to minimize future damage to infrastructure, property, and streams from storm events.

2011 Watershed Summit

Don-Lake-Presentation2011 Summit keynote speaker Don Lake discusses floodplain functions, the effects of development pressure, and Green Infrastructure practices.

"In the Wake of the Flood" Summit Handout

The 5th Annual Water Quality Summit: In the Wake of the Flood highlighted tools and incentives to help communities think about proactive floodplain management, stormwater runoff mitigation, reducing flood damage, and successful flood response. The Summit also placed emphasis on incorporating low impact development techniques and thorough site review during the planning process. Additionally, theSummit reviewed the past five years of water quality initiatives in the Schoharie basin and provided program and funding resource information for watershed communities.

Presentations & Educational Materials:

People in Balance with Nature: Linking Floodplains, Stormwater & Green Infrastructure
Keynote presentation: Don Lake, P.E., Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control

Part 1 (1.8 Mb pdf)
Part 2 (1.3 Mb pdf)
Part 3 (1.8 Mb pdf)

Five Years In Review
Presentation (1.2 Mb pdf)
Michelle Yost, GCSWCD Watershed Assistance Program

What to Do After the Flood: Floodplain Administrators' and Community Officials' Guide to Surviving the Flood
Tom Blanchard, NYSDEC
Part 1 (1.2 Mb pdf)
Part 2 (600 Kb pdf)
Part 3 (1.7 Mb pdf)

Protecting New York's Natural Resources through the Phase II SPDES Program
Kathy Czajkowski, NYSDEC
Part 1 (5.4 Mb pdf)
Part 2 (3.7 Mb pdf)
Part 3 (2.8 Mb pdf)

NYC Watershed Funding Resources Summary Sheet

 

2010 Watershed Summit

2010-peter-lopez2010 Watershed Summit attendees were treated to a lunchtime speech by NYS Assemblyman Peter Lopez
2010 Summit Handout

The 2010 Summit provided tools and incentives to help communities think about different design concepts. Expanding on the Low Impact Development theme, the 2010 event focused on incorporating creative options in site planning to produce multiple benefits for your community and to satisfy regulations. Protecting our local communities from flood concerns, water quality pollution, and expensive stormwater costs starts with a detailed site plan review early in the process.

 

 

2009 Watershed Summit

2009 Summit Handout | 2009 Attendee List

2009-registrationLike all Summits, the 2009 Watershed Summit provided many learning and networking opportunities.
A number of informative presentations were offered during the 2009 Watershed Summit including topics on:

Low-Impact Development, an alternative approach to site planning, design and building that minimizes landscape impacts & preserves the natural hydrologic cycle.Handout (6 Mb pdf)
Keynote: Scott Horsley, President, Horsley Witten Group

Schoharie Watershed Advisory Committee: Integrating watershed protection through local leadership. Attendees learned aboutStream and Watershed Management in the Catskills (9 Mb pdf) and how the Stream Management Program (1.6 Mb pdf) is working to achieve multiple objectives.
Jeff Flack and Joel DuBois, GCSWCD

An update on priority recommendations from the Mountaintop Community Resource and Recreation Strategy (2.6 Mb pdf) – a project the WAP has been facilitating for a year that integrates public, private and business sectors on the Mountaintop to enhance tourism potential by improving marketing, event coordination, and outdoor resource activities.Presentation (7 Mb pdf)

Michelle Yost, GCSWCD WAP

Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership: A cooperative partnership of diverse stakeholders with an interest in invasive species management in the Catskill & Delaware region. Ben Murdock of the Catskill Center for Conservation & Development spoke on this unique collaboration involving many agencies and what invasive species are a concern in this watershed. Presentation (5 Mb pdf)
Ben Murdock, Catskill Center for Conservation & Development

 

2008 Watershed Summit

2008 Summit Handout | 2008 Attendee List

Approximately 130 municipal leaders, property owners, engineers, planners, and government officials participated in the 2nd annual Schoharie Watershed Summit, including an appearance from Assemblyman Peter Lopez. The day’s activities included updates on the Schoharie Turbidity Reduction Strategy, presentations from watershed agencies and county officials who specialize in stream management, and afternoon workshops for local planners, residents and engineering firms working in the basin. The afternoon planning workshops counted towards the yearly training requirement for planning and zoning board members.

Presentations & Educational Materials:

Overview of Project, Process, and Recommendations
Schoharie Watershed Turbidity Reduction Strategy Overview & Findings Presentation
 (10.9 Mb pdf)
M. Yost

New Funding to Support Local Initiatives
Schoharie Basin Stream Management Plan Implementation, The Next Stage (1.35 Mb pdf)
David Burns

Where Infrastructure & Streams Collide: How to Manage Both Responsibly
Presentation (18.2 Mb pdf)
Wayne Reynolds, Delaware County Highway Commissioner

Where Infrastructure & Streams Collide: Where the Water Meets the Road
Presentation (9 Mb pdf)
Joel DuBois, GCSWCD Stream Specialist

Afternoon Educational Training Sessions
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans & Regulations Presentation (1.4 Mb pdf)
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Federal Wetland Protection & Regulation: USEPA Presentation (1.4 Mb pdf)

FEMA Flood Maps: What Every Planner Needs To Know

SEQRA & Subdivisions: A Hands-On Exercise Presentation

Schoharie Turbidity Reduction Strategy (2.8 Mb pdf)

Executive Summary to Turbidity Reduction Strategy

 

2007 Watershed Summit

2007 Summit Handout

Approximately 120 people were in attendance at the 1st annual Watershed Summit including municipal officials and employees from 12 of the 13 municipalities in the basin, county legislators and department directors, interested property owners, representatives from engineering firms, and non-profit and government agencies.  The 2007 event focused on turbidity issues in the Schoharie Watershed.