April 2020
monthly newsletter
Update from the Hudson River Watershed Alliance
Our Breakfast Lecture Series Continues!
Our monthly Mid-Hudson Breakfast Lecture series ("The Omelet") has been held on the 2nd Thursday of the month for the past 12 years. While we can't get together in person, we will be continuing this series as a webinar!

Enjoy breakfast at home, and join us on Thursday, April 9 from 8:30-9:30 AM via Zoom. Featured speaker Emily Vail, Executive Director of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, will discuss our work and plans for the future. Registration and more info here .
Nominate a WaveMaker!
We're considering our options for the Toast to the Tribs award benefit, scheduled for Tuesday, June 2 at The Falcon in Marlboro. We are dedicated to celebrating our Watershed WaveMaker awardees this spring, and are still accepting nominations!

Do you know an individual, a watershed group, organization, institution, or business that works tirelessly to protect water resources in the Hudson River watershed? Nominate them for a WaveMaker award! Nomination guidelines are posted here . We'll be accepting nominations until April 15.
Walk Along a Waterbody
A walk by a river or stream can help clear the mind and get some fresh air. Maybe there’s a stream in your neighborhood or a local park you haven’t been to yet.

If you take a walk along a waterbody (while practicing responsible social distancing ) please tag us on social media at @hudsonriverwatershedalliance! Or email any photos to Emily . To see the gallery of photos we've collected so far, click here .

If there is anything that the Hudson River Watershed Alliance could do to support your work, given the challenges surrounding COVID-19, please let us know . We're here for technical assistance on watershed work, and potentially even technical assistance on facilitating web-based meetings.
Watershed Highlight
Virtual Field Trips & Online Materials:
Teaching about Watersheds during COVID-19
Spruce Creek at Kaaterskill Falls (photo: Tom O'Dowd)
Kaaterskill Clove and stream piracy (photo: Tom O'Dowd)
Important fish identification characteristics (drawing: Hudson River Sloop Clearwater)
Part of the Battenkill Conservancy's virtual woods walk (photo: Battenkill Conservancy)
Teaching about wood frogs, northern green frogs, and spring peepers (photo: Westchester Land Trust)
With schools closed and gatherings prevented, education has shifted online. Across the Hudson Valley, educators are finding creative ways to connect learners with the natural world. 

Tom O’Dowd, a 7th grade science teacher in Columbia County, created a virtual field trip for his students. The lesson focused on a hike to Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County. In his slideshow, Tom interpreted geology, flora, and fauna that he saw along the way. He chose this approach to encourage the students to keep science in mind on their own outdoor adventures. Kaaterskill Falls is an iconic waterfall, and the Kaaterskill Clove is a dramatic valley to the west and south of the falls. 

Tom showed the Kaaterskill Clove as an example of a “ stream piracy ,” where a stream that used to be the headwaters of the Schoharie Creek (part of the Mohawk River watershed) eroded until it joined the Kaaterskill Creek (part of the Catksill Creek watershed). This not only showed watershed boundaries, but also how these boundaries can change over time.

Tom has required his students to keep an outdoor exploration journal to observe weather, water, and nature in their own backyards. These observations will connect to class material on weather, watersheds, chemistry, the environment, and evolution. Even while home, the spring season offers plenty of changes to document. 

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has also been adapting their education programs to allow people to explore and experience the Hudson River online. Traditionally published as a (waterproof) book , their "Key to Common Hudson River Fishes" is available here as an online tool. The fish key uses drawings to help identify common fishes, based on a series of choices. They’ve posted a video demonstration of the fish key here .

Even if you can’t get to the Hudson River to catch a fish in person, you can take their online Identify a Fish quiz . The quiz provides a photo of a fish, and you can use the choices in the key to identify and learn more about that fish.

Several land trusts have been working to keep people connected to nature through virtual nature walks. The Battenkill Conservancy in Cambridge, NY put together a virtual woods walk, specifically with parents and homeschooled students in mind. Lorraine Merghart Ballard, Executive Director of the Battenkill Conservancy, wanted to create a fun identification game for kids and adults alike, especially knowing that not everyone has access to open land to explore and that many parents have had to transition to homeschool teachers overnight.  

Westchester Land Trust also created a virtual frog walk , perfect for the spring season. Kristen O’Hara, Conservation Programs Coordinator, took viewers through the Hunter Brook Preserve in Yorktown Heights to explore vernal pools, look for signs of frogs, and share how to identify frogs based on sight and sound. Westchester Land Trust is moving all of their spring programs online. They also have a #wltsignsofspring challenge , nature activities and crafts for young families to try on walks around their neighborhoods, and “moments of zen” featuring soothing sights and sounds from protected lands. 

There are so many opportunities to continue learning and teaching about water and watersheds this spring, even while we are socially distant. Not only are there new ways to connect with each other, there are also ways to stay connected to water and nature.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: National Coastal Resilience Fund Pre-Proposals due April 8

NFWF will award approximately $31 million in grants to create and restore natural systems in areas that will both increase protection for communities from coastal storms, sea- and lake-level changes, inundation, and coastal erosion, and also improve valuable habitats for fish and wildlife species. NFWF will invest in projects in four focus areas: Community Capacity Building and Planning, Project Site Assessment and Preliminary Design, Project Final Design and Permitting, and Restoration and Monitoring.

US EPA: Citizen Science Water Monitoring Equipment Loan Program applications due April 10

Open to all citizen scientists/non-profit organizations (e.g., volunteer monitoring organizations, citizen science groups, non-government organizations, universities, local governments, etc.) operating within EPA Region 2, covering New York and New Jersey. In 2020, priority will be given to Tribal Nations, non-profit organizations monitoring urban waters and/or waters in Environmental Justice areas, and organizations that currently provide monitoring data to agencies. 
The equipment available for the 2020 loaning period are:
  • Water Quality Sets: include Garmin GPS units, turbidity tubes and YSI Multi-Parameter Sondes for measuring general water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, conductivity and salinity
  • IDEXX Sets for Pathogen Monitoring: allow the user to perform laboratory tests for Enterococcus and Total Coliforms/E-Coli
  • Manta Trawl for Microplastics: only 1 available; requires use of a boat (minimum 18 footer)

This loan program is restricted to equipment only, and does not include expendable sampling or analysis supplies. Apply online here .

US EPA: Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant applications due April 30

EPA is announcing a grant competition to fund two-year Pollution Prevention assistance agreements for projects that provide technical assistance (e.g., information, training, tools) to businesses and their facilities to help them develop and adopt source reduction practices (also known as “pollution prevention” or “P2”). P2 means reducing or eliminating pollutants from entering any waste stream or otherwise being released into the environment prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice: Environmental Justice Capacity Building Grants due April 30

WE ACT for Environmental Justice is now accepting applications from NYS organizations working to achieve environmental justice in their communities. A total of $900,000 will be awarded to 18 grantees, each receiving $50,000, which are intended to bolster the capacity of environmental justice groups to broaden the impact and ensure the sustainability of their work in New York State. Applicants are expected to demonstrate that (1) their community-based organization is located in an environmental justice community in New York State and (2) their work focuses on supporting community engagement to achieve environmental justice and environmental improvement. 

Patagonia: Corporate Grants Program applications due April 30

Patagonia’s Corporate Grants Program supports small grassroots activist organizations with provocative direct-action agendas, working strategically on multi-pronged campaigns to preserve and protect our environment. They support local groups that work to protect local habitats and frontline communities through bold, original actions.

Partners for Places: Mini Grants due May 6

The Funders’ Network, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, is pleased to announce that Partners for Places is now offering Mini Grants to help local governments, local foundations, and frontline community-led group(s) build relationships, align around project ideas, and ideally develop a proposal that centers on racial equity in water, sustainability, and/or climate action work. Mini grants will be in the range of $7,000 to $10,000 and are designed to strengthen the relationship between the three partners in order to aid in the development of a full and jointly developed P4P proposal. 

US EPA: Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) Grant applications due May 15

EPA is announcing a grant competition to fund two-year Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) agreements that support research, investigation, study, demonstration, education and training using source reduction approaches (also known as “pollution prevention” and herein referred to as “P2”). P2 means reducing or eliminating pollutants from entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal. EPA is particularly interested in receiving applications that offer hands on practical P2 tools, information and/or innovative P2 approaches to measurably improve the public health and the surrounding environment, by reducing the use of hazardous substances, reducing toxic pollutants, supporting efficiencies in reducing resource use (e.g., water and energy), and reducing business expenditures and liability costs.
The Hudson River Watershed Alliance unites and empowers communities to protect their local water resources
This newsletter is supported in part by the Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.