The Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District, in partnership with New York City Department of Environmental Protection, recently completed construction of a stream restoration project on a reach of the East Kill along Colgate Road. This restoration project was undertaken in order to improve floodwater and sediment conveyance through the historically unstable stream reach. The project will reduce maintenance and flood mitigation costs for landowners, the Town of Jewett, and Greene County, as well as improve water quality impacts and provide benefits to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Planning, design, and mobilization for this project occurred prior to Hurricane Irene. Led by James Buchanan, Project Manager, the District successfully completed this project and was also able to complete a significant amount of post-storm restoration and repair work in the surrounding vicinity.
The construction and emergency recovery work associated with this stream restoration project directly benefited the residents of the Colgate Road valley in East Jewett. Utilizing the mobilized contracting equipment and manpower available due to the stream restoration project, the District was able to provide emergency infrastructure repair assistance.
This assistance included reestablishing a valley egress for dozens of residents and a summer camp for disabled children by opening the destroyed bridge at the end of Colgate Road Additionally, the District repaired two washed-out culverts, removed approximately 5,000 tons of woody debris that posed an imminent threat to infrastructure from the stream channel, and provided approximately $40,000 worth of stream gravel (removed utilizing a scientifically-driven procedure) to help repair numerous County and Town roads and bridges following Hurricane Irene.
The 1,500 foot long stream project reach has been re-vegetated with over 2,000 potted trees and shrubs, willow clumps, rip-rap interplantings, and bioengineering treatments including willow fascines and layered brush mattressing. This vegetation will assist with long-term streambank stabilization and improve the habitat and food source for aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
The District was able to secure funding for this project through NYC DEP, the Schoharie Basin Stream Management Implementation Program, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) administered by NYSDEC.