News from the LHCCD
Summer 2013
News from the
Lower Hudson Coalition of Conservation Districts

Albany  ž  Columbia  ž  Dutchess  ž  Greene  ž  NYC  ž  Orange 
Putnam  ž  Rensselaer  ž  Rockland  ž  Ulster  ž  Westchester

Streams that Weather Harsh Weather

As climate change brings more severe storms to the Lower Hudson region, communities are looking for ways to reduce the risk of future damage in stream corridors, as well as resources for addressing problems that arise.  Many Soil and Water Conservation Districts have professional staff trained in designing and installing streambank improvements that will weather future storms.  Below you will find some examples of resilient stream repair projects Districts have recently completed.

Post-Flood Stream Intervention Training Presented
When storms do come, municipalities sometimes need to act quickly to remove stream blockages when flooding threatens infrastructure or property.  Knowing in advance what to move and what to leave alone is critical.  This spring the LHCCD teamed up with Cornell Cooperative Extension to present the Post-Flood Stream Intervention training program to dozens of municipal highway staff members throughout the region.  After attending a full-day classroom session, the public works staff will participate in a field session to observe proper stream clearing practices in action.  The program will be repeated this fall, so stay tuned for another opportunity to attend.
Joel Dubois of Greene County SWCD presents Post-Flood Stream Intervention Training to municipal highway staff.

Natural Stream Design on the Ground

When a major storm causes a streambank to collapse, or when a stream experiences recurring erosion, there are techniques to restore stability to the streambank for the long term.  The following examples in Westchester, Rensselaer and Albany Counties show projects Conservation Districts have undertaken with success.

In Westchester County, the Sheldrake River flows through the golf course at Bonnie Briar Country Club. Grass was being mowed right up to the streamside, and when water levels rose during storms, serious bank erosion often occurred. In 2006, the Westchester County SWCD and Planning Department worked with the landowner and consultants to design a more resilient stream corridor. The project involved re-grading the river banks to make them flatter and more stable, securing the toes of the banks and bridge abutments with stones and man-made “logs” manufactured from coconut fiber, stabilizing the banks with mesh blankets also made from coconut fiber, and installing stone structures within the stream channel to divert and slow water flow in a controlled manner to further curb erosion. The banks were then planted with a ten-foot-wide buffer of grasses, sedges, wildflowers and shrubs. This work significantly curbs erosion and improves water quality by filtering polluted stormwater before it enters the river. It also improves habitat for small fish and other aquatic organisms living in the stream channel.

Stabilization work underway at Bonnie Briar Country Club in Westchester.

After Hurricane Irene in September 2011, the Hoosick River in Rensselaer County experienced severe erosion.  Rensselaer County SWCD completed a streambank stabilization project through the NYS Agricultural and Community Recovery Fund program.  The photo on the left shows the eroded streambank immediately after Hurricane Irene.  On the right, the same site is shown stabilized and vegetated by June 2012.  The District worked closely with DEC, Army Corps, and NYS OPRHP, including a full archaeological review of the site.
Hoosick River streambank after Hurricane Irene (left), and stabilized with healthy vegetation (right).

Also during Hurricane Irene, severe erosion washed away 200’ of a highly productive corn field along the Onesquethaw Creek in the Town of New Scotland.  Albany County SWCD utilized onsite material to repair and armor the stream bank.  Large rock and gravel were also used to rebuild the bank and root wads were placed into the streambank to armor and create aquatic habitat along the meander. 

Onesquethaw Creek after Hurricane Irene (left) and stabilized with natural stream design (right).

For more resources on stream corridor restoration, and to view a video of the Westchester County project, please visit:


Green Infrastructure Funding

The LHCCD has compiled a guide to funding resources for green infrastructure projects, which is available on our website:  The guide includes funding opportunities for planning and building stormwater retrofit projects.

We're planning a panel presentation on funding options for the Southeast NY Stormwater Conference in October so that you can hear directly from some of the funding agencies.

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Save the Date

This year's Southeast NY Stormwater Conference and Trade Show is scheduled, so mark your calendar now!

Southeast NY Stormwater Conference

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dutchess Manor in Beacon

A full agenda and registration information will be coming soon.  Any product or service vendors interested in exhibiting can contact to be placed on our exhibitor list.


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